Retail expert not surprised Jacob is closing its stores

The women's clothing retailer has filed for bankruptcy

Jacob Inc has announced that it is closing all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy.

The women's clothing retailer currently has 92 locations across Canada and about 1,000 employees.

The company, based in Montreal, says it will liquidate its inventory in the coming weeks.

Jacob has been under creditor protection since 2010 and underwent an operational restructuring.

The company's president says they were unable to find a way to return to profitability or find new sources of financing.

"I would like to sincerely thank each employee and business partner that contributed to our success during these 35 wonderful years. I hope that the remaining Canadian retailers will get through these difficult economic times," president and founder Joey Basmaji says in a statement.

Retail expert David Gray, with DIG360, says he's not surprised by the news.

"If they were very successful, then they wouldn't be closing their doors," he says.

Ten years ago, he says Jacob was at the top of the game.

But starting around the time of the recession a few years ago, Gray says the industry started to change. Consumer demand evolved, off-shore sourcing brought down prices, and a list of U.S. retailers started to move in.

Gray says some Canadian retailers didn't see what was coming at them.

"God love them, but they were focused on their businesses day to day and they didn't pop their heads up."

At the same time, he points to big Canadian success stories like Aldo, Joe Fresh and Lululemon.

"They were based in Canada but they believed they were going to compete at a world-class level," Gray says. "It really changes your mindset. It changes where you invest. It you changes your critical thinking about your business."

There is some good news for consumers in the changing industry, he says.

"There's more and more choice. With one chain closing, there's probably three that are going to arrive on the scene in the next year."

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  1. j main posted on 05/07/2014 05:47 AM
    Anyone who worked for Joey Basmaji is not surprised at this turn of events. A loud aggressive guy with nothing to say.
  2. don was right posted on 05/07/2014 11:05 AM
    all the fault of women buying $5.00 crap at Old Navy made by virtual slaves in firetrap factories in the third world. At least Jacob sourced mainly in Canada.
  3. john posted on 05/07/2014 12:45 PM
    yet another victim of the blood sucking leaches known as liberals . thx u liberals for lost of jobs and soon to be bankrupt province .
    1. HP posted on 05/07/2014 03:55 PM
      @john Jacob is bankrupt because Canadians stopped shopping there, nothing more, nothing less. They did everything right but Canadians stopped supporting them.
  4. Paul posted on 05/07/2014 01:08 PM
    Not that am with the Liberal party but how come everything's blamed at them? Learn from the past. Your to do: 1-Stop bashing; 2-Move forward. If you have nothing good to say - shut it. If it's not building our society for a better Toronto - shut it. Otherwise, move out.
    1. john posted on 05/07/2014 03:20 PM
      @Paul i am not going to argue with u cause u dont get it . maybe u are brainwashed like liberal voters are and have been theses days . it dont matter and i don't really care . i am not the one who is going to be affected
      want this province joins and chapter 11 club . but it will under Wynne government . u dont mined people loosing there jobs by the sounds of it .
  5. HP posted on 05/07/2014 03:53 PM
    Another victim of "The Walmart Syndrome", Canadians are not willing to pay a bit more for quality and service.

    Jacob was one of the best Canadian retailers, ever...high quality products at a fair price, and their staff were the best trained, most loyal, and professional in the industry. They gave meaning to and lived "customer service". Sadly, they couldn't sell at the lowest price, always.

    Sad to see them go, I hope Reitman's, Dynamite, le Chateau, and the few other companies that survived the Quebec Jewish exodus after Bill 101 will make it.
    1. Theresa posted on 05/09/2014 01:54 PM
      @HP What are you talking about?

      What does Jacob's failing have to do with Bill 101?

      Dynamite sells crap cloths - Are you saying their crap cloths is because of Bill 101?

      Reitman is a hit and miss, one year is good, the other year sucks.

      Le Chateau is stretchy-ville and sells to 15 - 21 year old. Their jewelry is nice, that's what saves them.

      Did you every go shopping? I mean actually shop in a mall? By your comments, I don't think so...

      In every mall, in all of Montreal, guaranteed we would find one Jacobs, with the same cloths. Boring!

      Do you want to know why online shopping rocks? Choice, we have choice.

      How dare you, Jacob and the shopping malls suggest that we have to buy crap just to keep the Canadian stores open. How about Canadian retailers shape up and give us the choice we deserve.

      Retailers in Montreal are lazy, they had it too good.
  6. Theresa posted on 05/09/2014 01:33 PM
    Their clothing sucked. And, the more their clothing sucked, the less women wanted to shop.

    The owners at Jacob's took the last penny from their business, waiting until the bitter end to close-up shop.

    They had plenty of opportunity to fix things, reinvent their brand, reinvest in their company because industry changes doesn't happen over night. Online shopping has been around since 2004 and probably earlier. And, during these ten years, they couldn't figure out how to stay competitive?

    Instead they decided to file for chapter 9, scratch their heads and look like a deer stuck in head lights, blaming the female consumer for buying 5.00 clothing, online shopping and American businesses.

    Reality check, we don't want to wear $5.00, stretchy mystery fabric that can go up in flames in 2 seconds.

    Grow up, everyone. They wanted to fail.
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