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Esprit wears out North American welcome

Company looks to offload 93 U.S. stores

HONG KONG — On the heels of a 98% drop in its yearly earnings, Esprit Holdings said it is divesting its North American businesses and exiting three major European markets.

The company said it is actively looking for a partner willing to acquire its North American operations, which include 93 stores in the United States.

“We've currently engaged a private bank to assist us on exploring all options and all options are on the table,” said Ronald Van der Vis, Group CEO of Esprit Holdings "We're looking at the possibility of licensing our North American operations and the third scenario, if we're not successful in finding a partner, we'll be closing them down."

Esprit also said is closing all its directly managed retail stores in Denmark, Sweden and Spain.

Esprit is now seeking to boost its presence outside of Europe, planning to invest more than US$2.3 billion on business operations and branding.

Espirit operates 800 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes its products via more than 14,000 wholesale locations internationally. The company also maintains licence partnerships with several companies around the world.

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