C. Wonder

January's proven a dire month for mid-range brands. Over the past few days, Gap not only axed its Piperlime division, it also eliminated Rebekka Bay's role as the brand's creative director. Meanwhile, Kate Spade just announced it would close all Kate Spade Saturday stores. Roughly three weeks ago, C. Wonder confirmed that it, too, was shutting down and immediately started liquidating all locations. This domino effect feels similar to the glut of teen retailers that 

To some, C. Wonder was doomed from the start, an effort to compete with the glamorous Tory Burch, whom Chris Burch was divorced from in 2006 and who turned the company they founded together into a $1 billion fashion empire. C. Wonder grew too quickly, Mr. Burch agreed, entering into ill-advised and costly store leases that reflected his singular vision of bringing low-priced, neon-bright goodies to the masses.

C. Wonder, the preppy clothing and gift chain founded by billionaire Chris Burch, is closing all its stores, having failed to find a market for its kitschy mid-priced womenswear, home goods and  knick-knacks. "Due to the highly competitive nature of the current retail environment, C. Wonder will be closing its remaining stores," spokesperson Daniela Maron told Forbes. "The company continues to .

NEW YORK — Christopher Burch’s colorful, monogram-happy C. Wonder retail concept is going global. Just two years into the life of the brand, Burch, chief executive officer of Christopher Burch...

These days, "retail startup" is generally synonymous with "new e-commerce site." Given the relative low costs of building an online shopping destination, combined with projections for online shopping growth across the globe, the notion of launching a retail brand through bricks-and-mortar seems a little misguided — if not downright foolish. Unless you're J. Christopher Burch. The billionaire venture capitalist, best known for co-founding fashion label Tory Burch with his ex-wife, is building his portfolio of brands through an aggressive — and innovative — physical retail strategy.

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