Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group to Acquire Lucky Brand
A partnership of the biggest U.S. mall owner, Simon Property Group, and apparel licensing firm Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has been tapped by a bankruptcy court as the winning bidder to acquire denim maker Lucky Brand for $140.1 million, reports CNBC. The two — in a venture known as Sparc — announced last week that they're set to assume the role of core licensee and operating partner for Lucky, overseeing all sourcing, product design and development, running all of the retailer’s stores in North America, and its e-commerce business. Sparc said it will negotiate with landlords to keep Lucky’s “key stores” open in North America.
Lucky Brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early July. ABG, which has acquired a number of retailers over the years, including Barneys New York and Nine West, will own Lucky’s intellectual property and oversee all licensing partnerships, new business and brand development, a press release said. Sparc was also named the winning bidder for bankrupted men’s apparel retailer Brooks Brothers, in a $325 million deal to keep at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open.
Total Retail's Take: Lucky Brand got lucky with an acquisition offer that will pull the company out of bankruptcy and back into market. The Sparc venture presents the industry with a new and intriguing take on retail partnerships, with a mall owner and an apparel group discovering the benefits of working together. Simon is looking for new income drivers following years of dwindling mall traffic, which has only been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, and ABG is growing a venerable portfolio of iconic brands. Sparc now owns Aéropostale, Nautica, and Brooks Brothers, to name a few, and looks to continue to growing its collection. Marc Miller, CEO of SPARC, said in a press release, “This acquisition will diversify our growing brand platform, which includes approximately 750 SPARC-owned and operated locations in the U.S., plus e-commerce and wholesale that collectively drive over $2 billion in retail sales annually.”
Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ABG, also commented, “This acquisition boosts the value of our portfolio to more than $13 billion in global retail sales annually. Lucky Brand’s DNA resonates strongly with today’s youth and we see tremendous opportunity to unlock its value in key territories around the world." Looking to cash in on Lucky's standing brand awareness and affinity, Simon and ABG are targeting the next generation of shoppers. It will be interesting to track the success of the acquisition and Sparc venture for Simon and ABG.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.