Solstice Marketing Concept LLC, owner of the Solstice Sunglasses retail chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week in the Southern District of New York, after its sales nose-dived by more than 50 percent last year from 2019 levels. The company highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and related mandatory store closures as the main factor for the drop in revenues. The company said that it was optimistic about the reorganization of its business and would look for investors upon legal approval in order to finance its ongoing operations and restructuration process.
Solstice Sunglasses, which describes itself as the second largest sunglasses’ retail specialist in the U.S., currently has about 60 stores and outlets in the country according to its website, and also operates an e-commerce website. The company focuses on licensed eyewear from luxury fashion brands like Dior, Fendi, Gucci or Tom Ford, and contemporary and sports sunglasses by Ray-Ban, Maui Jim, Oakley and Smith Optics to name a few.
Solstice Sunglasses had been part of the Safilo group until June 2019 when the Italian company sold it for $9 million to Fairway LLC, a business entity affiliated with Solstice Marketing Concepts. There were about 80 Solstice stores in the U.S. at the time of the takeover deal, which included a multi-year supply agreement of Safilo products to the new owners.
In 2018, its last full financial year under the Safilo umbrella, Solstice Sunglasses had generated €52.1 million in revenues, down by 16.5 percent from the previous year in constant currencies and by 7 percent on a comparable store basis. The retail chain had been a loss-making business unit for Safilo for several years, and the group had already shut down 22 retail locations in 2018.