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Bandier Seeks Buyer for IP, Assets Amid Activewear Challenges

Bandier Seeks Buyer for IP, Assets Amid Activewear Challenges

Bandier, a women’s activewear brand with five retail store locations and an ecommerce presence, is seeking a buyer for its assets, inventory, intellectual property and certain commercial real estate leases. 

Initially launched as a single retail shop in Southampton, New York, in 2014 selling apparel, footwear, and accessories, Bandier grew its retail footprint and online presence as A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston and style influencers became fans of its leggings, tank tops and other apparel offerings. 

As Bandier searches for a buyer to mitigate reported headwind factors such as supply chain challenges, the activewear brand is still operating and has rolled out holiday gift guides on its site and is active on its social media pages.

Bandier filed a notice with the New York State Department of Labor WARN Unit last month, indicating that 52 employees were laid off on Nov. 22, 2023. The brand cited economic reasons for the downsizing and noted that “the planned layoffs are expected to be permanent, but all employees are expected to be rehired by the new entity, Bandier ABC, LLC.”

Along with one remote employee, the WARN notice said the staff cuts occurred at Bandier’s NYC headquarters and its New York retail locations in Manhattan and Southampton.

Bandier has two other retail locations in Dallas and Los Angeles.

The brand also began selling its private-label brands on Amazon in 2021— a decision that founder Jennifer Bandier said at the time would allow the brand to “meet the demands of the activewear boom.”

Earlier this year, Bandier partnered with Head Sportswear to capitalize on the pickleball surge, offering tennis and pickleball apparel collections

The company requests that offers be submitted by 5 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2023. Development Specialists, Inc. (DSI) is handling the sale.

Can Activewear Brands Weather the Storm?

Bandier’s strategy – selling its assets to circumvent bankruptcy – follows a recently issued report by McKinsey that sounds the alarm for the fashion industry.

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Opening the report with “storm clouds are gathering,” McKinsey warns that fashion companies will face economic headwinds, shifts in technology and an “evolving competitive landscape” in 2024. 

Not intending to be entirely gloomy, the management consulting company identifies technical outdoor clothing as a top trend in the new year, noting that consumers are increasingly embracing healthier lifestyles. 

Despite economic challenges, some brands, like Vancouver-based Lululemon, continue to prove their resiliency. The activewear brand joined the prestigious S&P 500 this fall, with shares rising over 10% in response. Lululemon also inked a five-year deal with Peloton to become the provider of Peloton-branded apparel in exchange for exclusive digital fitness content for its Lululemon Studio. 

Rhone, a premium activewear brand backed by NBA team owners and former NFL players, also made headlines this season as its founders reclaimed the brand from private equity firm L Catterton. Based in Connecticut, Rhone is accelerating store openings and is adding a women’s collection in 2024.

As for men’s activewear, Ten Thousand, founded by former professional soccer player and venture capitalist Keith Nowak, raised $21.5 million in a Series A this year and landed a sponsorship deal with luxury lifestyle and wellness operator Life Time.

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