Kate Spade Saturday here expected to close this year

Kate Spade Saturday here expected to close this year

The three Kate Spade Saturday stores in Singapore are expected to close this year, in line with the closing of all the stores worldwide.

Less than two years after opening its first Saturday store in March 2013, Kate Spade & Company announced through a press release in January that it would shutter all 19 stores in the United States, Japan and Singapore.

There were nine stores in Japan. The stores in the United States and its e-commerce site have been shut down.

In its press release, the brand said that the move will allow the company to focus on growing its main brand.

The company aims to eventually grow into a US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion) business. Net sales for last year were US$1.139 billion, an increase of 41.7 per cent from 2013.

Kate Spade New York was founded as an accessories label in 1993 by Kate Spade, the former accessories editor of the now defunct Mademoiselle magazine.

Today, it is a full-fledged lifestyle brand that also offers ready-to-wear clothing, mobile phone accessories and, soon, home decor items.

In 2007, she sold the company to Liz Claiborne Inc, which is now known as Kate Spade & Company, for US$124 million.

Aspects of the Kate Spade Saturday brand will be incorporated into Kate Spade New York to offer customers a wide selection of casual wear offerings.

Kate Spade Saturday was started to target a younger audience with casual items at more affordable prices. For instance, its bags cost about 50 per cent less than Kate Spade New York.

The two sister labels share a similar whimsical and cheery aesthetic. According to a press release issued in January, the company lost US$29 million from Kate Spade Saturday and the brick-and-mortar operations of the brand's men's line, Jack Spade.

The 12 Jack Spade stores, none of which are in Singapore, will be closed by the first half of this year. The brand will be sold at other retailers and online.

The first Kate Spade Saturday store in Singapore opened in October 2013 at Ion Orchard, and this was followed quickly by stores in Westgate and Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

Both Kate Spade New York and Kate Spade Saturday are distributed by fashion company The Valiram Group here.

Shelves at the Ion Orchard and Westgate store were well stocked when Life! visited last weekend.

Items from the current collection are being retailed at full price, while selected off-season items are sold at discounts of up to 50 per cent.

Shoppers get an additional 10 per cent when they buy two or more items. There are still five Kate Spade New York stores here.

It appears that the failure of Kate Spade Saturday may have something to do with its lack of identity.

"The issue is that Kate Spade New York is not an uber-luxury brand, it's an aspirational luxury brand. Then you have another concept that's a little more confusing. It's a discounted version of something that is already accessible," says luxury retail analyst Simeon Siegel from investment bank Nomura Securities during an interview with Bloomberg.

Other commentators such as Lauren Sherman, editor-at-large of fashion news website Fashionista, wrote in an opinion piece that Kate Spade Saturday may have launched with too many categories.

Right from the get-go, the brand offered products ranging from adhesive tape to leather boots.

Local student Mindy Chow, 22, a fan of Kate Spade Saturday, says it is a pity that the brand is in its final days.

"It's surprising. What more can you ask for? It's a fun and affordable brand," she says.

This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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