The opening of its first travel-themed retailer in Salt Lake City immediately marks the beginning of a second chapter for the U.S. division of UNOde50.
Before the pandemic, the Madrid-based jewellery retailer had operated 105 shops globally, together with 22 within the U.S. But a lot of these American shops had been in undesirable places and the corporate determined the easiest way to exit the undesirable leases was to file chapter in America.
The firm’s U.S. enterprise, formally ARS REI USA, filed for Chapter 11 final August in New York chapter court docket. At the time, it listed property and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million, and its chief govt officer Jason McNary attributed the submitting, like many retailers that appeared in chapter court docket final 12 months, to the COVID-19 pandemic and steep rents.
The firm is navigating an exit from chapter, although it hit some obvious roadblocks earlier this 12 months. In April, the choose overseeing the case rejected the corporate’s disclosure assertion on its Chapter 11 plan. In bankruptcies, a disclosure assertion outlining the debtor firm’s funds should be accredited by the chapter court docket earlier than it may be despatched out to collectors to vote on the corporate’s plan.
In April, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn denied the disclosure assertion and despatched the corporate again to the drafting board, saying he wasn’t satisfied that the corporate would have the ability to pay out chapter claims from its projected revenue in 2021, and sought extra particulars explaining the idea for its projections. The continuing is ongoing.
McNary stated the submitting was an intentional transfer “to reject non-strategic leases, step back and evaluate our real estate strategy. Some of the stores were a financial burden and we thought it best to reorganize.”
So McNary closed the corporate’s shops on Prince Street in New York’s SoHo, Lenox Square in Atlanta and Roosevelt Field on Long Island, N.Y. It additionally closed its workplace in Midtown Manhattan and now operates out of Long Island City, N.Y. “We worked with our landlords on the bulk of the leases and came to favorable terms, but there were some stores we just shouldn’t have opened,” he stated.
The plan, he stated, is to exit chapter later this summer season and ramp up its retail rollout as soon as once more — however with a special mind-set. Globally, the corporate now has 100 shops, 19 within the U.S. and 28 in North America. By the tip of this 12 months, UNOde50 will improve that quantity in North America to 36 by including or relocating eight models, McNary stated. “We’re optimistic about our reorganization plan. Our focus for growth is to focus on where we’ve seen our most success historically.”
That consists of Puerto Rico and Florida specifically. McNary, who had served as president of Agnes B earlier than becoming a member of UNOde50 and can be a board member for the Faherty model, stated Puerto Rico is the model’s number-one market within the U.S. It operates two shops there and can add three by August.
There are additionally six shops in Florida with extra to return, together with Aventura, which is slated for a November opening. That retailer will sport a prototype design with a way more upscale and minimalistic method with an all-white colour palette and a “soft and elegant” contact. That similar design will probably be used on the model’s retailer on the Venetian resort in Las Vegas, McNary stated, which will probably be relocated in November, in addition to new models in Northpark in Dallas and the Time Warner Center in New York City in October and September, respectively.
In November, UNOde50 will open a flagship at 542 Broadway in New York’s SoHo, which McNary characterised as “one of the most-important streets in the world to plant a flag.” The retailer will probably be 1,625 sq. ft — 700 sq. ft of which will probably be dedicated to the jewellery and 925 sq. ft to a gallery to showcase the paintings of its president and inventive director, Jose Azulay.
This will probably be solely the second retailer within the fleet to have a gallery, following the unique in Madrid, a two-story unit that opened in February on the nook of Caballero de Gracia, simply off Gran Via, the town’s fundamental buying road.
“It’ll be a window on the world and a dream come true for Jose,” McNary stated, including that Azulay’s sculptures will retail for $3,200 to $11,250.
UNOde50 was created in Madrid in 1996 and initially provided solely 50 items of every design, therefore the title. In the late Nineties, the corporate was acquired by Azulay who sought to supply an assortment that pushes the envelope on conventional jewellery design. Today, the assortment for ladies and men is all handcrafted and manufactured in Spain and Portugal. And whereas its business collections provide greater than 50 items, there are nonetheless some limited-edition choices which are a nod to the corporate’s roots.
The retailer is focused primarily to ladies though males’s is gaining in significance, McNary stated. The common sale within the U.S. is $140, he stated, and high sellers embody Eslabomba bracelets in silver and gold, a snowflake necklace in silver, light-it-up earrings and a necklace from the Ecstasy assortment. Prices vary from $89 for a silver snowflake bracelet and necklaces for round $270 and high out at $1,500 for among the limited-edition items. Globally, UNOde50 counts Pandora, Swarovski and different jewellery and equipment manufacturers as competitors.
Beyond the standard shops, UNOde50 has expanded into a brand new enviornment: travel-themed shops in airports. The Salt Lake City unit is the primary of a brand new idea operated in partnership with the Hudson Group. “We have previously worked with Dufry and have shops-in-shop in the Puerto Rico at the San Juan airport. This project in Salt Lake City’s new Delta terminal that opened in September 2020 is a new partnership that has been in development for two years and we are excited to build on this. This is a huge milestone for UNOde50 and our strategy over the next two years is to have at least 25 travel retail stores across the Americas market.”
McNary stated the corporate has plans to revamp and develop its web site, which accounts for under 12 % of its enterprise within the U.S.; institute a brand new digital advertising technique that can communicate extra intently to its buyer base, and improve its wholesale operations, which account for 40 % of gross sales within the U.S. The line is carried in Dillard’s, Hudson’s Bay, Von Maur and unbiased specialty outlets and McNary stated the objective is to work with the retailers to raised signify the messaging of the road of their shops.
“Wholesale will always be a core part of the business and we’re investing in fixtures for our wholesale partners so we’re exposed in a more-marketable way,” he stated. “This is consistent with the new brand image of the company, a global project to renew over 2,500 points of sale.”