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British Label Jigsaw to Offload Diffusion Line

Robinson Webster Holdings, which owns the British women’s wear label, announced this week that it intends to sell or close its Kew.159 line.

JIGSAW TO OFF-LOAD ITS KEW.159 LABEL: Robinson Webster Holdings, which owns the British women’s wear label Jigsaw, announced this week that it intends to sell or close its Kew.159 diffusion line. The company said it had made the decision following a strategic review, as the label has “struggled to become profitable in difficult trading conditions.”

Robinson Webster said Kew.159’s turnover peaked in 2010 at 22.1 million pounds, or $35.1 million, when it recorded a loss of 300,000 pounds, or $476,544, on an earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization basis. The firm currently has annual sales of 20.5 million pounds, or $32.6 million, and operates 16 standalone stores and 22 concessions in the U.K., alongside an online store.

The company said that unless the brand is sold, its store portfolio will be assigned to its Jigsaw and Jigsaw Menswear stores, along with third parties. Robinson Webster noted that “some redundancies will be inevitable,” but said that it is hoped staff will find some roles in other parts of the group. The company added that Jigsaw is “enjoying a strong performance,” with its sales up 8.6 percent on a same-store basis for the year to date. Kew.159 will continue to trade during the spring 2012 season, and then in a reduced capacity for fall 2012, which will be the line’s final collection.

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