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Quicksilver announces bankruptcy plan, 90s kids sob uncontrollably

Quicksilver announces their plan to file for bankruptcy. Will this be the end of Quicksilver, or will they come back stronger than ever with a new plan?

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Quicksilver was cool, but surf brands have suffered

In the mid to late 90s, the epitome of cool was surf wear: flip flops, puka shell necklaces, and boardshorts. It didn’t matter if you were a kid from the Midwest who had never seen the ocean, if you rocked beach-themed clothing as part of your regular wardrobe, your social identity was basically set – you were laid-back and in style. But not long after after Britney and Justin broke up, teens lost interest in California culture clothing, and surf brands suffered.

Billabong, for example, has struggled to keep its head above water in the last five years (pun intended), and last Wednesday, the formerly popular brand Quiksilver filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Quiksilver’s CEO, Pierre Agnes, said in a release, “After careful consideration, we have taken this difficult but necessary step to secure a bright future for Quiksilver.” According to Agnes, the bankruptcy plan is a “difficult but necessary step” that will help complete a turnaround of the company’s U.S. business.

Unfortunately, Quiksilver is in need of a turnaround for multiple reasons

The brand didn’t just suffer from irrelevance after the early 2000’s: it also took a hit during the recession, and made some missteps, including opening too many stores and geographically spreading out its operations, causing backups and delays on the West Coast.

Then, one of the brand’s most prominent sponsors, surfing world champ Kelly Slater, ended his relationship with Quiksilver to start his own line of clothing. Additionally, cheaper brands like H&M and Forever 21 have swelled (again, pun intended) in popularity in the last decade, and “fast fashion” has elbowed out other clothing companies in the teen market.

Quicksilver will restructure and close 27 stores

As part of the bankruptcy plan, Quiksilver will receive about $175 million in financing from affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management and Bank of America to operate during the bankruptcy. Oaktree, which owns 73% of the company’s senior debt, will convert its debt to equity, taking a majority ownership stake. The firm’s Asia-Pacific and European business units are not part of the bankruptcy filing.

Quiksilver will close 27 stores in the U.S., with the plans of restructuring the company in order to stay relevant. And while the brand is not likely to return to its broad-based appeal, the fashion market is constantly revolving–the 90’s are in actually back in style. So perhaps, along with plaid shirts and combat boots, puka shells and nostalgic surf shirts will make their way back into the wardrobes of cool teens everywhere.

#Quicksilver

Amy Orazio received her MFA in Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles. She lives in Portland now, where she is enjoying the cross section of finishing her poetry manuscript and writing for The American Genius.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Oliver G.

    September 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    It’s not just surf brands it’s the entire industry. Parasuco, Mexx, Jacob, Laura, Bootlegger, Wet Seal and the list goes on all closed stores or went bankrupt. Macy’s and GAP closed a ton of stores. Kanati Clothing Company drastically scaled back its operations. Forever 21 is seeking outside investors for the first time ever. Even luxury retailers like Holt Renfrew are closing stores. E-commerce giants like Karmaloop went bankrupt. Tillys and Zumiez stock is way down and the largest manufacturer in the US, American Apparel is expected to fall into bankruptcy shortly. I’d say we are seeing a bigger trend of consumers with no cash in their pocket wanting the $5 deal rather than actually paying.

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Supreme Court okays trademarking for ‘generic’ name URLs

(BUSINESS NEWS) Generic name trademarks have helped to stave off monopolies of broad products and services, but the Supreme Court just ruled that generic company names like Booking.com, can now be trademarked.

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For years, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied rights to names termed as “generic.” This was previously used to prevent generic terms from monopolizing a section of the market. It has prevented many companies from doing that as well.

However, as we move into the 21st century we begin to see things that may not be so cut and dry. As usual life gets messy and things are far more grey than they previously have been.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that website names are eligible for a change to the previous trademark rules. The website that pushed for this privilege first, Booking.com that is owned by Booking Holdings Inc., argued that they needed this ruling to stop consumers from following copycats down a rabbit hole and away from their business.

The decision, heavily weighted at 8-1, gives Booking.com, nationwide legal protection against competing companies trademarks.

A remark released later by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court states, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric.” An argument quoted from the decision continues as since, “‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”

This stance, taken by the majority, exemplifies a firm position on the rights of the individual companies’ abilities to identify themselves as they see fit.

The lone dissenting vote coming from Justice Stephen Breyer who argued that he fears that this decision “will lead to a proliferation of ‘generic.com’ marks, granting their owners a monopoly over a zone of useful, easy-to-remember domains.”

Honestly, if you can’t come up with your own domain that either incorporates, but doesn’t copy, or gets your point across without being too generic, you may need to hire a PR person.

This move forward from the Supreme Court opens up a lot of possibilities for people to be creative with their businesses. If generic and simple names will be the norm, then people will have to think outside the box in the future. Bring on the challenges.

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New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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