One Of The Hottest New Retail Companies Is Suddenly Closing Its Doors

C. wonder store
C. Wonder’s Soho store in New York City. Courtesy C. Wonder

Preppy retailer C. Wonder is closing all of its stores. 

The company told workers that its 11 US stores will shut down in the coming weeks, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed.

The 100 employees at New York headquarters cleared out shortly after.

CEO Harlan Kent told his team that attempts to turn around business, including discounting merchandise, weren’t enough to turn around business. 

The retailer, founded by industry veteran Chris Burch in 2011, had a controversial beginning. 

Burch’s ex-wife, designer Tory Burch, accused him of copying her styles. The two later settled their differences. 

Many C. Wonder items have a similar aesthetic to Tory Burch’s designs, but the prices are much cheaper.

Until recently, C. Wonder appeared to be on the path to success. 

Morgan Stanley recently named the fashion retailer one of the top accessories companies, along with industry heavyweights Michael Kors, Coach, Tory Burch, and Vera Bradley. 

But Burch has allegedly distanced himself from the brand for the past year, focusing on his other retail brands instead.

C. wonder accessories
The accessories are similar to the Tory Burch brand. C. Wonder

Buzzfeed reported in November that the company was planning to close 20 of its 32 stores and focus on the wholesale business instead.

Fans of C. Wonder loved its preppy aesthetic, bright colours, and accessories galore.

Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted wearing the gear.

Apparel retailers across the board are struggling to attract customers. 

Teen retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale have faced declining sales. Trendy chain Wet Seal is rumoured to be shutting down stores amid bankruptcy. 

Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet told analysts that consumers had priorities other than clothing and housewares. 

“Shoppers are spending more of their disposable dollars on categories we don’t sell, like cars, healthcare, electronics, and home improvement,” Hoguet said in a call with investors.