Steve & Barry’s trims 172 jobs
All stores are currently open, including the Waikele location
STORY SUMMARY »
Though Steve & Barry's has filed for bankruptcy protection, the retail store that just opened in Hawaii will remain open.
Store manager Keith Yoneda says the store is open for business as usual, and continues its $9.98 promotion, which it launched at its grand opening on April 25.
The Steve & Barry's at Waikele Center is Hawaii's first and only retail store run by the New York-based company.
FULL STORY »
Just shy of three months since the opening of its first Hawaii store, the operator of Steve & Barry's filed for bankruptcy protection this week.
Steve & Barry's LLC, the New York-based discount seller of clothing lines by celebrities, listed debts and assets of $500 million to $1 billion in Chapter 11 documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
The company held a grand opening for the Hawaii store at the former CompUSA site at Waikele Center on April 25.
"We're still open," said store director Keith Yoneda. "Nothing has changed on our end. Hawaii's been very successful for the company."
Yoneda said the store had a successful grand opening, is doing extremely well, and continues its promotion of $9.98 or less for every item in the store, including the new Wonderwall surf-and-skate collection by Hawaii waterman Laird Hamilton.
The Waikele store has about 80 employees.
On the mainland, however, Steve & Barry's fired 172 employees, ranging from corporate to field staff positions, as part of its operational improvements required as part of the Chapter 11 process. It is also exploring a potential sale of the company or its assets to repay outstanding debt.
Steve & Barry's founders and CEOs, Steve Shore and Barry Prevor, opened their first store in 1985 with the mission of providing affordable, quality clothing.
"This mission has grown beyond our wildest dreams, providing our customers with 80 million units of affordable clothing and accessories during the past year alone, including products designed and endorsed by celebrities who have believed in our vision," Shore and Prevor said in a statement.
The company blamed a combination of factors, including the slowing economy, credit market volatility and high costs of materials and fuels for the downfall.
Since mid-2007, difficult credit markets caused delays in store openings and landlord reimbursements for store-opening expenditures advanced by the company, creating cash shortages.
Steve & Barry's has opened 276 retail stores in 39 states. All are still open and doing business as usual, according to a company statement.
Total sales in the first five months of 2008 are up 70 percent, the company said, with average store sales up 25 percent, and comparable store sales up 15 percent.
In particular, its exclusive branded lines of merchandise created with high-profile entertainers and athletes have performed exceptionally well.
While the Waikele store is still open, it is uncertain whether it will follow in the steps of Sharper Image, which in June liquidated 86 stores across the U.S., including two in Hawaii.
Wendi Kopsick, spokesman for Steve & Barry's, said the company is analyzing each store location, but that no decisions have been made.