Real estate developer acquires luxury footwear brand
Harrys of London has a new owner with an interesting portfolio who wants to expand the brand.
The luxury footwear and accessories brand has been acquired by Charles S. Cohen, a New York real estate developer and media entrepreneur. Cohen, who acquired 100% interest in Harrys from Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, will assume the position of chairman. Palladin acquired a majority stake in Harrys in 2014.
Cohen is the owner, chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group, an independent film production and distribution company that owns an extensive library of classic films. His real estate holdings include more than 12 million square feet of prime Class A and design center properties across the United States. Cohen recently acquired a majority stake in Savile Row luxury menswear house Richard James.
“Harrys of London has been a brand I have supported and respected for a long time, bringing a unique mix of luxury, contemporary craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology and design,” Cohen stated. “We see huge potential for expansion across the U.S., London, Asia and the Middle East, and I am eager to help the team grow Harrys on a global scale.”
Steven Newey, the CEO of Harry, will continue to head up the brand in his current role.
“I am incredibly excited to partner with Charles in bringing the Harrys of London brand to the next level,” Newey said. “Charles brings a unique vision and background that will be invaluable in our future growth. We are looking forward to taking full advantage of the new horizons this partnership will open up.”
Harrys of London was founded in 2001 with the mission of using new technologies to create high-end dress shoes. In addition to a store in London, it has locations in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The company’s products are also available at department stores and specialty stores worldwide, including Barneys, Harrods, Holt Renfrew, Lane Crawford and Mr. Porter.
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Athletic and apparel retailer off to slow start in Q1
Foot Locker posted weaker-than-expected earnings and sales for its first quarter after high promotional activity and getting off to a slow start in February.
Net income for the company's first quarter ended April 29, 2017 was $180 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with net income of $191 million, or $1.39 per share in the year-ago period.
First quarter same-store sales increased 0.5%, lower than expected. Total sales increased 0.7%, to $2 billion, compared with sales of $1.98 billion last year. Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales for the first quarter increased 1.8%.
On the company’s quarterly earnings call, chief executive Richard Johnson said Footlocker plans to open a flagship in Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
“The first quarter was one of our most profitable quarters ever, but it did fall short of our original expectations," stated Johnson in the earnings release. "The slow start we experienced in February, which we believe was largely due to the delay in income tax refunds, was unfortunately not fully offset by much stronger sales in March and April. Nonetheless, we believe our banners remain at the center of a vibrant sneaker culture. We are confident that our customers have not lost their tremendous appetite for athletic footwear and apparel and that our position in the industry is stronger than ever."
The company's gross margin rate decreased to 34.0% of sales from 35.0% a year ago, and the selling, general. Administrative expense rate increased 30 basis points to 18.5% of sales.
During the first quarter, Foot Locker opened 30 new stores, remodeled or relocated 61 stores, and closed 39 stores. As of April 29, 2017, the company operated 3,354 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, 62 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East and South Korea, as well as 15 franchised Runners Point stores in Germany.