Betsey Johnson closing its doors

The end of the iconic brand opens up room for competing luxury retailers.

By Benzinga May 14, 2012 5:27PM

Image: Shopping bags (© Photodisc Red/Getty Images)By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

Long-time luxury retailer Betsey Johnson has seen the last of its flowery patterns and animal prints. The funky, gleefully spirited brand is going out of business, announcing an "everything must go" blowout sale that even includes the actual store shelves themselves.

During the 20% to 50% off sale, customers can purchase the newest Betsey styles at a discounted rate with no chance of return. Inventory will not be replenished following the sales at the privately held chain's 54 stores and nine outlets.

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In a statement released last week, CEO Jonathan Friedman sympathized with teenaged girls and women across America who are mourning the loss of the stylish retail brand.

"While the sales are ongoing, Betsey Johnson customers are still our main priority. We hope that they use this opportunity to find great discounts on all of the latest Betsey Johnson fashions," Friedman said.

While Betsey and her fans may be crying tears flecked with cobalt blue eye shadow and chunks of thick black mascara, other high-end retailers are able to rejoice at the prospect of attracting her groovy clientele.

Michael Kors (KORS) could potentially see share interest from investors after the demise of Betsey Johnson. Her loss is his gain, as the two brands compete at a comparable price level and attract a fairly similar customer base.

Express (EXPR) has seen a recent spike in men's retail spending, but has lost some of its female fan base. According to Piper Jaffray, men have been picking up their fashion game lately, and the ladies in their lives are likely not far behind. With this extra push from Betsey Johnson's abandoned female shoppers, there is an even better chance that EXPR will experience better-than-expected summer months.

For many women, the news of Betsey Johnson's goodbye marks the end of an era. Merchandise is expected to sell at warp speed, since the brand usually sells inventory at full price until pushing it off-price stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (TJX). With the discounted price tags and coveted outfits, Betsey Johnson has seen the last of its retail reign.

More From Benzinga
May 14, 2012 6:16PM
people who survive in this economy can no longer afford Betsey Johnson
May 14, 2012 6:44PM
Just love it when the economy is showing such a recovery.
May 14, 2012 7:19PM

People are whining about the economy, but still paying for overpriced coffee at a sidewalk "cafe." overpriced danish, etc.  Stop whining people and continue buying overpriced stuff.


May 14, 2012 7:10PM

$300 for a summer dress??? I drooled but could never justify spending that much for something that was almost as much as my rent.

May 14, 2012 7:57PM
Doubt it's the economy; surely it's a well earned retirement at almost 70. She certainly had an amazing career and could afford a comfortable retirement; poor woman also overcame cancer few years ago. Wishing her all the best.
May 14, 2012 6:51PM

I couldn't often afford it but I really liked her stuff!!  The jewelry was so quirky and just fun


May 14, 2012 6:20PM
I never heard of a Betsy Johnson Store!!
May 14, 2012 8:47PM
I have to agree with the people who said that her stuff was overly priced , some were cute but most of it was too clunky. a little over the top for my taste, however in these difficult times its always sad to see yet another business go under.............. just one more sign of our dying economy sigh :/
May 14, 2012 6:15PM

Omg! I am saddened, sorry and shock to see Betsey Johnson go.  The jewelries are one of the cutest merchandises I've ever seen.  I hate to see these things happen.  Sad


May 14, 2012 6:30PM
noooooo i love betsey johnson jewelry and purses !!!!! i dont want them to go :(
May 14, 2012 10:11PM
I did like her designs but it definitely was the prices! They were much too high compared to similar style clothing and it's not like they were "Must haves".
May 14, 2012 7:32PM
I liked Betsey Johnson but the items were too pricey and the quality was low. The earrings would fall apart in a matter of weeks... so I stopped purchasing the products.
May 14, 2012 10:14PM
betsey johnson is a fashion designer. to each their own taste. she is edgy, hip, and freakin cool, not necessarily mainstream, but definitely has made her own path..and she wasnt a gay man..omg!! i have some of her stuff from wayy back, up until today, and i wear them and will keep them forever!! for the love of god, quit going right to politics, or what is latest in the news today..we can all google it if we want. i love you betsey johnson!
May 14, 2012 7:17PM
I love Betsey Johnson but hated the pricey cost! oh well, at least I can afford the discount now :D
May 14, 2012 10:08PM
Ah, another U.S. business bites the dust.
May 14, 2012 8:43PM

SIGH, the economy is epically suckish. That's all I have to say. ThinkingSad

May 14, 2012 7:38PM
I don't care anymore, I could never afford the clothes there anyway.
May 14, 2012 7:49PM

My daughter got a Betsy Johnson purse last Christmas and it was expensive. Expensive junk that is; from China. The zipper broke and the metalic shine of the fabric wore at the seams. Contacted Betsy Johnson and they would not do anything.   I would not buy her one again, now i'm glad i didn't.

May 15, 2012 1:17AM
Thats what they get for being expensive for no reason
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