Casual clothing chain Esprit to close Asian outlets on dismal sales hit by pandemic

30, Apr. 2020

(Photo courtesy of Esprit Holdings)
(Photo courtesy of Esprit Holdings)

HONG KONG, NNA – Casual clothing store chain operator Esprit Holdings Ltd. is shutting all its outlets in Asia as a result of dismal sales, hit by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Hong Kong-listed company said Monday it will close 56 stores in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan among other markets by the end of June, in addition to its decision on the closure of all shops in mainland China.

Sales from the 56 shops were equivalent to less than 4 percent of group sales in the nine months to March 31, 2020, according to its financial statement.

The Covid-19 epidemic has been a blow to the group that will focus on its mainstay European market. But the group retains a joint venture with a local partner in mainland China and a wholesale operation in Asia, it said.

Esprit operates retail, wholesale and e-commerce business, with sales in Europe making up over 90 percent of the group’s total in the nine months to March this year. As of the end of March, it ran 112 retail stores in Asia compared to 231 in Europe, according to the statement.

During the same period, total sales in Asia almost halved to HK$553 million ($71.3 million) from a year ago, the company said.