Boca Raton, Fla. — Following last week’s announcement of massive store closures by Macy’s and Sears, The Limited is following suit, announcing over the weekend the closure of all its remaining 250 brick-and-mortar stores.
The women’s apparel retailer posted a brief message on its website on Saturday reading “We’re sad to say that all The Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors. But this isn’t goodbye. The styles you love are still available online — we’re just a quick click away 24 hours a day.”
Sun Capital Partners Inc., a Boca Raton-based private equity firm and owner of The Limited, has not issued a press release on the closure, but released a statement to Reuters citing “an increasingly challenging environment for mall-based retail and women’s apparel” as the catalyst for its decision to shutter the remaining stores. The move is expected to eliminate about 4,000 jobs, including 800 full-time positions, according to Reuters.
The Limited Inc. was founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, by Leslie “Les” Wexner, who now serves as the chairman and CEO of L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB). Known for being a stylish alternative to department stores, The Limited grew to 100 stores by 1976 and 772 stores in 1990. The company also went public in 1982. Wexner’s company owned The Limited for more than 40 years before selling the chain to Sun Capital Partners in 2007.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sun Capital hired Guggenheim Partners as a financial advisor for The Limited’s transition. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 280 companies worldwide in a variety of industries, including retail.
In addition to The Limited, the company’s retail and restaurant portfolio includes Furniture Factory Outlet, Shopko Stores, Marsh Supermarkets, Johnny Rockets, Boston Market and Bar Louie. Founded in 1995, Sun Capital has over $9.2 billion of capital under management and employs more than 200,000 people. The firm has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles and New York, and affiliates in London, Frankfurt and Shenzhen.
— John Nelson