As a wise songwriter once said, "Thnks fr th mmrs, even though they weren't so great." Except in this case they were, but it seemed only a fittingly high school send off for BCBG Max Azria, which announced today that they're closing stores and restructuring. That's right — RIP BCBG Max Azria stores, home of daring-but-not-too-much silhouettes, bodycon brights, and the brand that populated many a high school's prom dress Facebook group.
According to Bloomberg, debts and the consumer shift away from brick-and-mortar stores led to the decision. Seth Lubove, a spokesperson for the brand, said the move will see the label focusing on "licensing, e-commerce and selling through other retailers," so it's not goodbye for good, but the number of boutiques shuttering is as yet undisclosed (the brand operates over 570 worldwide, and more than 175 in the U.S.) In a statement from the brand, Lubove told Bustle:
"Like so many other great brands, BCBG has been negatively impacted by the growth in online sales and shifts in customer shopping patterns and, as a result, has too large a physical retail footprint. In order to remain viable, the company --like so many others in its industry -- must re-align its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment. This realignment will include a reduced focus on free-standing brick-and-mortar stores, concentrating more on in-store boutiques and, increasing our online presence as well as licensing. BCBG is a world class designer and producer of apparel, which with the necessary changes, should be able to be successful. We are looking at a variety of options to accomplish the restructuring of the company."
The announcement coincides with their website's 25 percent off sale on all regularly priced BCBG dresses and accessories, so if you're already panicking at the news, stock up on your cocktail dresses and special occasion attire now.
The situation's not Nastygal-level yet, as the company hasn't filed for bankruptcy, and recently brought on firm AlixPartners LP to restructure their debt load. So — all is not lost.
But regardless, the past stays sterling. Now's the perfect time for a trip to yesteryear à la Facebook homecoming photo albums, that corner of the internet which never dies. A far cry from the brand's ~elevated look of late, but like...middle school us would not have known.
The OG mall brand might not have its own legs going forward, but they'll always have department stores (probably/maybe/hopefully).