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Kenneth Cole to shut down almost all its brick-and-mortar stores

🕐 1 min read

Kenneth Cole Productions, a fashion house and shoe company founded more than three decades ago, is closing almost all its stores, effectively ending its run as a U.S. brick-and-mortar chain.

The New York-based retailer will shutter its 63 outlet stores over the next six months, Chief Executive Officer Marc Schneider said in an e-mail Friday. That leaves Kenneth Cole with just two full-priced stores in the U.S. following an earlier paring of those locations. The company will be focusing efforts on its e-commerce site and international business, Schneider said.

Kenneth Cole also will continue to sell merchandise through other retailers.

“As we continue on our path of strengthening our global lifestyle brand, we look to expand our online and full-price retail footprint across the globe,” he said. “We need to focus our energies and resources to better serve the consumer on their terms.”

Retailers — healthy and distressed alike — have been shrinking and shutting down stores as more spending moves online. Kenneth Cole opened its first store in 1984 on New York’s Upper West Side, two years after its eponymous founder created the brand.

Kenneth Cole, who serves as chairman and chief creative officer, took the company private in 2012 after years in the public markets.

Other than its soon-to-be shuttered outlets, Kenneth Cole currently lists two regular stores on its website: a shop in New York’s Bowery neighborhood and a location in Arlington, Virginia, near the Pentagon.

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