By now, you probably know that the white wool market is expected to be big in 2017, and that many will have to be re-purposed for winter.
We’ve already covered the re-opening of Woolworths, the revival of the fashion industry, the launch of fashion brand Yarni and the rise of online fashion and accessories stores.
But it seems that there are some white wool companies that are going out of business before they’re even ready to re-emerge.
The most recent example is Bowery, a wool industry stalwart, who was acquired by Japanese retail giant Yodobashi.
The company was sold to Chinese online retailer Dalian Wok in 2016 for $10 billion.
However, since the purchase, the company has been struggling to find a buyer for the assets, and in April the company announced that it would no longer be selling wool coats.
“We’re deeply sorry to announce that we have decided to cease operations,” Bowerys owners wrote on the company’s website.
Bowery has not yet issued any official statement, but its chief executive, Stephen Kishore, has been speaking out about the impending closure.
“I can tell you that our business will not be going anywhere and that Boweries’ management team will continue to manage the business in a responsible way, with a focus on delivering the best value for our customers and our shareholders,” he wrote in a letter to employees on Thursday.
Yodobashin, meanwhile, has announced plans to rebrand the company as a “high-end luxury brand” which will include a range of products aimed at luxury buyers.
There are plenty of other wool companies in the process of shutting down, including Woolworth’s own Woolworth, which announced in 2016 that it was planning to cease trading wool coats in 2018.
While Woolworth has been able to survive in the market by diversifying, the wool industry has been hit hard by the downturn in global markets.
The loss of the major wool producers in the UK, Australia and Europe is a major factor in the loss of millions of jobs, and many businesses have closed.
So far this year, there have been more than 500 wool-related deaths in the United States, according to the United Nations.
Wool, which is made from the wool of the wooly grasses and other hardy grass species, is a highly prized commodity for traditional craftsmen and is used in many different ways.
According to the Australian Wool Association, the industry has seen an economic decline of approximately 15% since 2014, and the Woolworth shutdown has not only impacted the industry, but also made the industry’s survival a challenge.
It remains to be seen how long Woolworth will continue in business, or whether the company will close down completely, but the shutdown is likely to put a dent in the industry as a whole.
What do you think of Woolies impending closure?
Do you have any other Woolies to add to the list?
Image source: Woolworth Australia