If you had a shoe budget of $50 million, you could pick up the G.H. Bass & Co. footwear business in its entirety. Thats the amount PVH Corp. was paid to unload the ailing footwear division, which it acquired in 1987.
Bass operates more than 160 retail stores nationwide and brings in about $250 million in volume. However, PVH has long pined to focus on its swankier brands, like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Emanuel Chirico, PVH CEO, said, “Our retail heritage businesses have really been struggling for the past few years. This significantly reduced that exposure. [Bass] is a heritage brand that is well known, but we have not been investing in the brand from a marketing point of view. That has the ramification of putting sales and gross margin pressure on the business.”
Morris Goldfarb, CEO of Bass, agrees his company has languished from neglect. “It was a brand that wasn’t given the appropriate attention at PVH,” he said.
In a demonstration of impressive frugality, PVH plans to use the case from the sale to pay down debt.