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  1. #1
    \(^.^)/ Jennifer's Avatar
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    Default Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    I don't think many people on here mentioned buying a leather bag from a Wilson Leather boutique, but I think I heard some people say that they use wilson leather cleaner & conditioner.

    Anyways, thought I would spread the news... Wilson's closing their doors after almost 30 years in the business.

    The chain's 100 remaining mall-based stores will close by the end of October, though some have already gone dark.

    By JACKIE CROSBY, Star Tribune

    After years of struggling to recapture its glory days, the former Wilsons Leather announced Thursday it is going out of business.

    Now known as PreVu Inc., the Brooklyn Park-based specialty retail chain said it has been unable to obtain the capital or financing needed to continue its plan to turn its 100 mall stores into accessories boutiques.

    The Wilsons Leather name will live on in outlet malls, however, at least for the time being. Wilsons sold its name, website and all 116 outlet locations to New York-based clothing company, G-III Apparel Group Ltd. for $22.3 million in July.

    Wilsons had hoped the deal with G-III, known mostly as a supplier of brand-name apparel, would provide the much-needed capital to remodel its stores and to give lenders confidence that the once-busy retailer could pull out of its free-fall.

    Employees around the country heard the news in a conference call Thursday morning, said a store manager who didn't want to be identified talking about corporate matters.

    Company officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    Most stores closed their doors immediately following the conference call, but the airport locations may stay open longer, according to the manager. All the merchandise will be sent to a liquidator.

    The company said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to complete the liquidation process by the end of October.

    It's unclear whether the chain has enough money to pay off the mall leases it has signed or whether it's headed for bankruptcy court.

    "At the end of the day, there were just too many negatives to overcome," said Eric Beder, an analyst with Brean Murray, Carret & Co. in New York, who covered Wilsons until earlier this year. "Leather is a tough business. It's so seasonal. The economy had to break right for them, the concept would need to be outstanding -- and even then it would have been difficult."

    Thursday's announcement was the end of a slow decline for the retailer, which got its start in 1899 when three brothers opened up a fur, wool and leather hide business in downtown Minneapolis.

    In the past decade or so, Wilsons has seen its corner on the market for designer leather clothing eroded by mass-market stores, such as Costco, Kohl's, Target and Wal-Mart. Despite infusions of more than $80 million from equity investors over the past four years, the company never regained its footing.

    Recent economic woes accelerated the company's demise, as consumers worried more about paying for gas, housing and groceries than picking out a new handbag. Retailers nationwide say sales of jewelry and accessories have taken the biggest hit.

    During the past year, the retailer shed nearly all of its Wilsons-brand outerwear and was trying to reinvent itself with splashy fashion photos, bright lights and airy displays of designer handbags. But even in good times, retailers face long odds when trying to start up a new concept to bring in new customers.

    Wilsons stock, which nearly reached $24 in 2001, was trading for pennies before the company was delisted by Nasdaq on Aug. 4 for failing to keep shares and stockholders' equity above minimum requirements.

    "I didn't see it coming," said the store manager, who said he has worked at the company through many ups and downs over the years. "They pitched this new concept hard, and really made us believe in it. That's why many of us stuck with the company instead of finding different jobs."

    Jackie Crosby
    - startribune

  2. #2
    ~♥~ Just Married ~♥~ daisydeadpetals's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    How sad!

    And I heard so many good things about their leather protector spray. I actually just bought 2 bottles of that stuff last week online!

    What a bummer!

  3. #3
    ♥ Moderator ♥ Zombiegirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    So did I read it right that it said that the Outlet Stores will remain open??
    W I S H ♥ L I S T
    Loving my collection!

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    Official Bagista gizmo's Avatar
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    Sad Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    I hate it when this happens, and after more than a century
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    My husband has a leather coat from there. But I bought it quite a few years ago. He had pointed it out so I went back and bought it for him for x-mas. It's a nice coat. Too bad they didn't have bags I liked.

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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    no wonder i couldn't find any store locations besides outlets in WA anymore... i was trying to get some of the spray! do you guys think the outlets will have the cleaners / protectants?
    Wishlist: get out of debt

    so totally :banned2:


  7. #7
    \(^.^)/ Jennifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    ^ Hey the alderwood mall in lynwood still has a store open. I've purchased a couple leather cleaners from there. I don't know how much longer they will be open for though

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ^ Hey the alderwood mall in lynwood still has a store open. I've purchased a couple leather cleaners from there. I don't know how much longer they will be open for though
    really??? it wasn't on the Wilson's Leather store locator... and it's not on the Alderwood directory... :[
    Wishlist: get out of debt

    so totally :banned2:


  9. #9
    \(^.^)/ Jennifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    Really? Hmm, maybe it's closing too..

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    ^ how long ago were you there? an OT, did you go to LV yet?
    Wishlist: get out of debt

    so totally :banned2:


  11. #11
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    Sad Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    This is one of the hardest things i have been through!

    i have worked for the company for 3 years. worked at many stores. and really enjoyed being with the company.

    when the company closed its 150 store earlier in the year, it was shocking! everyone was stunned. alot of us were confused, but the company had pitched a wonderful idea pf a new concept store with handbags. originally it was to be called studio and they have 5 test store with the branded handbags through out the holiday. it was a success. hearing of this great idea kept all of us intreaged and wanted to stay with the company. soon after a couple months ago, i heard that the leasing negotiations for my store had not been successful and that my store would have to close in 4 days. it was very hard cause i had put all i had into my store and in turn it was very successful. to say goodbye was very hard. i was able to transfer to a near by store (thank you to my awesome DSM). over the next months everything was in good change to see the new concept store(PreVu) really come to life. things were really coming alive in a positive note.

    as soon as i recieved the news on wednesday night that there was going to be a conference call on thursday morning and all store managers had to br present in the store to take this call. i knew exactly what was going to happen. very depressing. i had another manager call the stores that were to be on our call and found out they were all simon mall stores. i new we were closing. little did i know it would be the anouncement of the entire company going under. the simon malls would be the only managment company to keep the remaining 21 stores open to liquidate all the merchandise. after helping close one of the near by store that day, it really hit me that all that i know will now be no more.

    it is very hard the way all this wne down. alittle unperfessional yes, but the company had to do what they did. the investors had bailed out of the argeement to help support the change. alot rid on there investments. with the purchase of the outlet stores to the G3 company who supplies wilsons with there leather products. this was the seperation of the wilsons leather and the prevu stores.

    i had chose to stay with the company to see the new concept come to life. probably not the smartest thing i have done. they really made it sound like it was going to happen. i was very excited. there were alot of clues over the past two weeks that showed things were heading down hill. we were supposed to recieve new brands in our stores and they were delayed cause they said they didnt have them in the warehouse. another one was that all the distric managers were to go to a meeting up north for the offical reveal of the new store. that was cancelled. alot of our signage said final sale on them. shipment orders were very low. one thing that really alarmed me and was a reason i knew the company was going under, a customer came into my store and told me 2 weeks ago that the company filled chapter 11 bankruptcy. i said there was no way that happened since we had all the investments. very weird.

    all together i a have read alot about what people are saying and i wanted to share what really happened. this is from my point of view and not to say this is the opinion of others.

    the liquidation stores are having a really good sale. 30% off all handbags. which is a deal you cant get with these brands. take advantage. currently have brands- Kathy Van Zeeland, B Makowsky, Jessica Sipmson, Steve Madden, Guess, Bettsy Johnson, Tignanello, 9 west. really nice handbags.

    the leather care is also on sale. i believe 75% off.

    goodbye wilsons leather soon not to be PreVu.

  12. #12
    Official Bagista gizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ^ Hey the alderwood mall in lynwood still has a store open. I've purchased a couple leather cleaners from there. I don't know how much longer they will be open for though

    Just yesterday, by chance, I walked by a Wilsons store at a high-end mall and it was packed with bags. I saw no sale or clearance signs anywhere.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    i just called the outlet and they carry the cleaner and protectant sprays.

    Wishlist: get out of debt

    so totally :banned2:


  14. #14
    \(^.^)/ Jennifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    Quote Originally Posted by this1chick View Post
    ^ how long ago were you there? an OT, did you go to LV yet?
    You are so right. I just got back from alderwood at it the space was for rent... no more cleaners for me

    Oh and btw, where is the outlet? marysville? northbend?

  15. #15
    A little eccentric warhols__muse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wilson Leather going out of Business..

    That's crazy, I haven't been there in years ... but honestly. Though, I'm kind of not shocked they were having money problems, my Wilson Leather only stayed in our mall for about three years and everything was always discounted.

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