Fashion retailer Esprit is investigating its options to sell its North-American activities, as Bloomberg heard from several sources inside the chain. As lately Esprit has been performing weakly, the chain would prefer to focus on its core markets Europe and Asia.
Even though the chain was founded in San Francisco in 1968, it never became really popular in its “home” continent (Esprit has even moved its financial headquarters to Hong Kong in 1993). Despite opening 13 new stores, same-store sales dropped 4.9% - compared to a -1.7% in Europe and +0.6% in Asia. In the past year, net profits dropped 21% to 204 million euro (the fifth consecutive decline), which pushed Esprit's stock down 55% in the same time.
The insiders claim that Rothschild bank has been hired to sell separate parts of the holding, like US and Canadian activities, to (most likely) private equity firms. So far, there has been no official confirmation of these claims.