Madonna and J-Lo have a Juicy secret. Both have been known to wear the ubiquitous Juicy Couture track suit. The Juicy Couture company, formed by two So-Cal scenesters under the Travis Jeans name, makes women's T-shirts and other casual attire with a glamorous flair -- claiming that women want to be comfortable and feel gorgeous. The apparel firm, a subsidiary of Fifth & Pacific, has been expanding into swimwear, intimate apparel, children's and infants' wear, fragrances, sunglasses, and footwear. Juicy Couture's comfy-chic clothing and accessories are sold in more than 75 company-owned speacialty shops, about 50 outlet stores, and five concessions in the US and Europe. It also sells merchandise online.
Juicy Couture is one of three upscale, retail-focused brands on which Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne) is staking its future. (The others are kate spade and Lucky Brand.) Of the three, Juicy Couture is the biggest contributor to its parent company's sales. In 2011 Juicy rang up more than $530 million, accounting for 35% of Fifth & Pacific's total sales. The chic apparel maker's sales fell more than 6% vs. 2010, primarily due to decreases in wholesale apparel and non-apparel sales, and weakness in its specialty retail operation, while Juicy's online and outlet store operations posted sales gains. The firm posted an operating loss of nearly $10 million in 2011, following a profitable 2010.
Juicy Couture is looking to reinvigorate its US business, while expanding its international reach, particularly in fast-growing Asian markets with an appetite for luxury. Juicy Couture has a presence in China through an agreement with Lane Crawford Joyce Group for exclusive distribution rights there and in other Asian markets. The deal calls for the opening of Juicy Couture stores in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. – less