Alex and Ani to Close Majority of Stores, R.I. Headquarters
Only seven stores will remain open, according to a report by The Boston Globe.
The jewelry company is closing 20 locations and its headquarters in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, according to a report by The Boston Globe.
The closure will mark the first time in the company’s history that it will not have an office in its home state.
Several employees told the Globe that during a recent staff meeting, CEO Scott Burger told them the company was shutting down its headquarters and that they should gather their things and prepare to work from home that same day.
In a statement, Burger told the Globe the company was evaluating its office needs for a hybrid working model, adding its Rhode Island team would work remotely while, “we determine our future office needs and conduct a search.”
Alex and Ani could not be reached for comment on the closures.
The jewelry company had downsized its operations previously.
In March, the company partnered with Stord to outsource its warehousing and fulfillment services, putting that 125,000-square-foot section of its East Greenwich space up for lease, said the Globe.
“Our e-commerce business has rapidly grown, and we wanted a partner with expertise across our supply chain that delivers a high quality experience for our customers,” said Burger in a statement in March.
“Trusting Stord with DTC and B2B fulfillment allows our team to focus on scaling our brand, developing products, and further elevating the customer experience.”
After making a big splash in the first decade of the new millennium, Alex and Ani has struggled to find its footing in recent years, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2021.
At the time of the bankruptcy filing, the company held 74 leases.
Only seven stores will remain open, executives told the Globe.
During its bankruptcy proceedings, Alex and Ani unsuccessfully looked for a buyer.
A judge then approved a Chapter 11 reorganization plan under which private equity firm Lion Capital LLP purchased debt Alex and Ani owed to various banks and upped its stake in the company to 65 percent from 59 percent.
In 2022, the company secured a $17.5 million loan to help rebuild post-bankruptcy.
The company, famous for its low-cost, collectible bangles, was founded in Rhode Island in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian, who named the company after her two eldest daughters.
The wire charm bracelets were incredibly popular in the early 2010s, sold at Alex and Ani stores nationwide and via retail partners, including chain stores and independent jewelers, with annual revenue totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
As consumers moved on to the next trend, Alex and Ani found itself saddled with debt due in part to having grown so quickly, as well as a couple of legal battles. On top of that, there was a high turnover rate among its C-suite.
Rafaelian left the company in 2020.
Late last year, she founded a new jewelry company, Metal Alchemist, which designs and crafts its jewelry in Rhode Island.
Rafaelian, an Armenian-American, also launched a charity initiative, “Alchemy for Armenia,” through her new brand to support Armenia’s historic sites, recruiting fellow Armenian-Americans Cher and physician and entrepreneur Eric Esrailian.
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