After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing 120 stores, apparel retailer BCBG Max Azria had hopes that some bigger company would swoop in and save them from oblivion. Turns out there were actually two companies willing to rescue BCBG.
The new owners will be Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group, which will split responsibilities for the brand.
Marquee, which owns brands like Bruno Magli and Body Glove, will handle the intellectual property, as well as licensing the brand and expanding into new markets and (maybe) new product lines.
Global Brands Group, which owns brands like Juicy Couture and Jones New York, will handle the actual clothing brand operations. That will include manufacturing and distributing new merchandise to outside retailers, and keeping some of the brand’s standalone stores open, 73 of which have stayed open through the bankruptcy. The company also has a few hundred store-in-a-store locations, which Global Brands Group will run as well.
The company’s challenge in the future will be staying relevant: In selling clothing to young, trend-conscious buyers, it will need to speed up its production and have fresh dress designs on the shelves more often than four times a year. That’s the same challenge that other mall clothing retailers have faced. Other brands that cater to young women, like Wet Seal and The Limited, have gone out of business or left the bricks-and-mortar retail business entirely.