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Amsterdam’s top warehouse Bijenkorf drops Mexx brand fashion apparel

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam’s most exclusive warehouse is saying goodbye to clothes by Mexx, the troubled Amsterdam-based design firm which just a few years ago was listed among the world’s top fashion brands.

Saying the designer’s apparel has become too run of the mill, the Bijenkorf says it will stop carrying Mexx’s womens lines by this summer. It has already stopped carrying the firm’s mens and childrens clothes.

The Bijenkorf, situated at the city’s Dam Square, was one of Mexx’s most important outlets.

Chief Purchaser Edo Beukema tells Amsterdam daily Het Parool Mexx has become “too ordinary.” The no longer conform to the wishes of the Bijenkorf’s customers, and no longer fit in with the luxury brands the Bijenkorf carries.

Observers say the firm did not fare well after its sale, in 2001, for €300 million ($407 million) to the U.S. firm of Liz Claiborne has not done the company much good.

Mexx was founded in 1986 by Indian fashion designer Rattan Chadha, who had moved to the Netherlands in 1970.

According to Wikipedia,

Mexx entered the U.S. market in September 2003 with a New York City store located on 5th Avenue in a former Liz Claiborne flagship location.[5] At one time, the company had eleven stores in the U.S. The venture did not prove to be successful, and the company closed seven of the stores in 2006 and the remaining four in 2007.

Recently, Mexx has struggled to keep up with trendier fashion chains, such as Zara and H&M.[6] In 2006, Mexx only made a profit-margin of $10 million, which could not cover the rent in its established locations.[citation needed] Most of the earnings were made from its former flagship in New York, which ultimately led to its closing the following year. [1]

Director Thomas Grote recently told Het Parool the brand’s dwindling sales can be blamed on, among other thing, “designs from within the ivory tower.” Too, “When Rattan left, the spirit of Mexx also left.”

Grote, who calls Mexx’s business model ‘outdated,’ is busy restructuring the company, aiming to make it profitable in 2011 — by focusing on the needs and wants of consumers.
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