Reitmans Axes Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity

By Ben Hamill - June 03 2020
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Reitmans Axes Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity

Canadian clothing retail giant Reitmans (CA) Limited has announced plans to permanently shut down its Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity brands. The decision to close up double shop will result in some 1,400 job losses and follows a complete internal company restructure authorised by a May application for bankruptcy protection.

When measured in actual store numbers, shuttering shop will see 77 Addition Elle stores and 54 Thyme Maternity stores closing their doors over the course of this summer. The idea is to free up cash resources by means of a complete liquidation of inventory at hand on the back of a staggered and controlled resumption of business post-forced closure. As far as permanent winding-up dates go, Addition Elle will be permanently closed on August 15th, with Thyme Maternity pegged to go the same route as early as July 18.

Reitmans hopes to salvage three of its premium brands: RW & Co., Penningtons and Reitmans.

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Losing A Battle To Win A War

No decision to terminate any brand is ever made lightly, said Reitmans Canada President and CEO Stephen Reitman at the time of the difficult announcement. But even so, cutting the umbilical cord relaying life to one brand may very well ensure the survival of another with perhaps slightly better odds of making it through the storm. The Reitmans group of companies’ struggle to survive dates even further back still than the current global financial crisis, and since no immediate relief or recovery can be expected, the company now sees no alternative way out of its ongoing financial worries than cutting loose dead wood.

But save for the painful process of letting go of brands created in effort and oftentimes sweat, the impact on employees now left stuck in a lurch without a paying job is by far the most challenging, not to mention emotional, part of the entire process, said Reitman. The 1,400 employees about to be reduced are made up of roughly 1,100 employees currently employed in actual retail stores and 300 employees working in Reitmans’ Montreal head office.

The Damage Is Titanic

Reitmans is of course not the only group of retail fashion companies affected by the global health crisis. Recent weeks saw a large number of household fashion brands resort to similar relief by having either filed for bankruptcy or left at the mercy of business rescue administrators. Notable brands gone this route include Neiman Marcus, Debenhams, the J. Crew Group and JCPenney.

In addition to Reitmans’ physical store closures, online retail websites associated with both brands will be terminated along with their respective outlets on the mentioned shut-down dates.

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