Jimmy Choo has a new owner.
Michael Kors said on Tuesday it has agreed to purchase the luxury shoemaker for approximately $1.2 billion, adding a coveted global brand to the U.S. retailer’s stable as its own handbag and accessories sales suffer.
Many retailers have faced declining sales in recent years amid fierce competition from online shopping and discount and fast-fashion stores like TJMaxx and H&M. In an attempt to woo shoppers, Michael Kors has offered heavy discounts, but has ended up giving people reason to pause before paying full price and diminishing the brand’s cachet.
Sales have taken a nosedive, declining 11% in the latest quarter, and investors have wiped away a third of the stock’s value in the last year. Michael Kors is in the process of closing 100 to 125 of its standalone stores, renovating another 100-plus stores and doubling down on more innovative designs. It also said it would rein in its discounting and sell fewer items to department stores, which are prone to marking down items in order to move inventory.
The acquisition will give Michael Kors a new avenue for international growth and a foothold in the luxury shoe market. “We admire the glamorous style and trend-setting nature of Jimmy Choo designs,” said Michael Kors, honorary chairman and chief creative officer, in a statement.
Jimmy Choo was started in 1996 by British Vogue editor Tamara Mellon and designer Jimmy Choo. Its stilettos, which often cost north of $1,000, quickly became a favorite among celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Princess Diana.