Jack Wills has shut five stores in Hong Kong and the staff has been asked to collect their belongings and leave.
Jack Wills had five branches in various districts in Hong Kong, namely Sha Tin New Town Plaza, Kowloon Tong Festival, Yuen Long Yoho Mall, Causeway Bay Leighton Centre and Tsim Sha Tsui Harbour City LCX. As stores in all of these locations close, Jack Wills shop staff were required to immediately clear away personal items.
In other news, Sports Direct has bought struggling UK fashion chain Jack Wills for £12.75 Mn after being placed in administration. As the company liquidates, more stores are expected to close and more jobs are predicted to be cut.
Owned by retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley, Sports Direct has taken over its distribution centre, 100 stores and employees across the UK and Republic of Ireland in what is known as a “pre-pack administration” deal.
While the future of stores in Singapore and the United States remains unknown, staff in the UK and Republic of Ireland are more likely to get affected by the stock sale.
What caused Jack Wills downfall was that the company lost relevance in the UK clothing market as its heavily branded, preppy products no longer appealed to 16-24 year olds who now prefer more edgy, aspirational brands. The lowering of prices and continuous discounting further worsened their situation. The company devalued its full-price proposition, while its stores lost their appeal and uniqueness.
To gain back its place, Jack Wills has to be substantially revamped. It has to revive its desirability, win back shoppers and establish a new loyal customer base. With new investments and leadership, let’s see if Jack Will is able to transform itself and its offerings as per the current demands. The challenge for the UK firm is to modernize ranges and improve the in-store experience with tight budgets.