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  • Nick Monjo

Wacoal Takes Lively Impairment Charge

Wacoal’s U.S. division reported an operating loss of 9,587 million yen (about $73 million at current exchange rates) in the first nine months, as it was forced to record an impairment charge of “10.11 billion yen” (about $76 million) relating to the declining value of its Lively intimate apparel brand.


In 2019 Wacoal’s U.S. division acquired Intimates Online, the company that owned Lively, for an initial payment of $85 million, with a commitment to make additional payments to the sellers which were to range between $20 million and $55 million in total, based on performance over the next four years. The exact amounts were to be “based on Intimates Online’s business results such as net sales, with Wacoal noting at the time that “the introduction of earn-out consideration will reduce our risk associated with this acquisition.” Lively, which launched in 2015, and was losing money when it was acquired, and continued to lose money under Wacoal.


Wacoal International Corp. (U.S.), which is one of several divisions of Tokyo based Wacoal Holdings Corp., reported sales of 21,491 million yen (about $163 million at current exchange rates) in the nine months ending December 31, 2022, compared to sales of 19,331 million yen (about $147 million) in the same period the year before. The operating loss of 9,587 million yen, compared to an operating profit of 518 million yen (about $4 million) in the nine months ended December 31, 2021.


Referring to the Lively impairment, Wacoal explained “in light of the changes in the external environment factors, including the tighter data privacy regulations on digital marketing and the recent slowdown in consumer spending, we reassessed the recoverable amount by Wacoal International Corp. (U.S.), and recorded an impairment charge of 10.11 billion yen.”


It added that sales at “Wacoal International Corp. (U.S.) were sluggish due to the absence of the recovery from the impact of COVID-19 seen during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, as well as deterioration in consumer confidence in the wake of the growing inflation. Sales from Wacoal America, Inc., on a local currency basis, decreased due to sales from physical stores, our e-commerce website and third-party e-commerce websites all falling below the level of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year and the corresponding negative impact on our major clients’ procurement. In light of the recent deterioration in the marketing environment, Intimates Online, which distributes the “Lively” brand, reformed its management structure in August and made efforts to improve profitability. However, as a result of significant reduction in advertising expenses, the number of customers visiting its stores struggled to increase.”


Despite the problems in the U.S., the company reported “sales from Wacoal Europe Ltd. (“Wacoal Europe”) increased as a result of strong sales from our specialty stores, which account for approximately half of the sales of Wacoal Europe, in addition to strong sales from department stores in the United Kingdom. Sales from swimwear products continued to be strong, and our products under “Elomi” brand achieved a high growth against the backdrop of the growing body-positive trend.”


For the first nine months, parent company Wacoal Holdings reported a loss of 2,363 million yen (about $18 million) on sales of 143,903 million yen (about $1.1 billion), compared to a profit of 4,908 million yen (about $37 million) on sales of 129,989 million yen (about $988 million) in the nine months ended December 31, 2021. — NM

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