Allen Schwartz closes flagship Santa Monica store
Allen Schwartz has closed its thirty-year-old flagship store on Santa Monica's Montana Avenue. This was the last brick-and-mortar location for the brand which will now focus on e-commerce and building global wholesale.
Schwartz said, “I don’t think my product is still good for today’s customer base on Montana", explaining that the store was popular when agents and actors shopped on the avenue in the 80s and 90s. "The whole fashion cycle has changed,” he added.
Schwartz' decision to not renew the lease for the flagship store followed a number of other store closures for the label. Five years ago the company operated twelve physical locations from New York to LA but, as retail has changed, the company has been shifting online to stay relevant.
Two years ago Allen Schwartz pulled out of department stores, citing their liberal discount programs as a challenge to the brand's value. Schwartz explained that there was no way to control the discounts which hurt the core business, particularly when a consumer would come into a direct-to-consumer retail channel asking for a boutique to price match against a department store's sale price.
Schwartz said, “I love the business. I’m as passionate about it as I ever was. But you have to adjust."
With the closure of its final retail location, Allen Schwartz will increasingly focus on its e-commerce business. It will also look overseas to build its wholesale business abroad, while continuing to sell to specialty stores in the US.
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