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Lowering Prices Wasn’t Enough for Rag & Bone to Stave Off Layoffs

From new denim constructions, weights and washes to the steps global mills are taking to reduce impact, Rivet's SS23 In Season Look Book: Denim & Trims has everything you need to know for a successful denim season.

New York City-based denim brand Rag & Bone is the latest to lay off and furlough staff members as a result of the economic shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the denim brand temporarily lowered prices on all items in an attempt to generate an uptick in sales. Everything on the Rag & Bone website, including the brand new Spring/Summer 2020 collection, was discounted between 25 percent and 70 percent through May 1.

According to CEO and founder Marcus Wainwright, the move was engineered to protect the brand during the uncertain times.

“Like the rest of the world and the rest of the industry, we are doing our best to navigate our way through this, acknowledging that we need to do all we can to support and protect our employees, our company and our customers,” he stated in April.

Despite Rag & Bone’s efforts, WWD reported on Thursday that the company laid off at least 70 employees across its retail and corporate departments, and furloughed much of the remaining staff for the time being. Affected employees were offered severance pay and assistance with healthcare benefits.

The brand joins a number of other fashion brands and retailers undergoing layoffs as a result of the pandemic. H&M, Macy’s and Everlane—which got the attention of U.S. senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for alleged union busting—have all resorted to steep cuts as they navigate the unprecedented times.