The retail group that owns Noni B, Katies, Millers and Rivers is shutting down an additional 250 stores by the mid-2020s, blaming mall owners for not providing adequate rent exemption as they grapple with the impact of COVID-19.
Mosaic Brands, which also owns Rockmans and Crossroads, said in August that it was in talks with landlords to renegotiate the leases, but that it still expects to close as many as 500 stores over the next year or two.
“In line with our comments in the full year 2020 results announcement, since August we have closed 73 stores in response to unrealistic rental requests and a permanent shift toward online purchases,” Chief Executive Scott Evans said Thursday.
“We are encouraged that a number of landlords have come to the negotiating table in recent weeks on rental cuts but not all of them, and we expect to close up to 250 additional stores by June 2021.”
Chairman Richard Facioni said the pandemic has forced a large number of in-store customers, who number five million-plus, into hibernation over the past eight months.
He said, “We found ourselves in an unfamiliar situation for any retailer, where our customers wanted to visit our stores but couldn’t – and generally say this was for the better.”
“With most of the closings now lifted, we are confident that these customers will come out of this hibernation and resume visiting our loyal brands.
“It is still not known exactly when they will have the confidence to return to the store.”
The company said in its annual report that 41 percent of its store rents were pending or expiring by December, with 87 percent expiring within the next 24 months.
Mosaique recorded a net loss of $ 170.3 million in the last fiscal year
Mr Facioni said that according to the critically important Christmas trading season, Mosaic expects to return to profitability in 2021.
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