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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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Business News

How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping

(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.

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There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.

However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!

In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.

The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.

Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.

The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.

There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.

“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”

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Business News

Today’s sexual harassment issues require more modern training

(BUSINESS NEWS) It’s unfortunate that sexual harassment still exists in the modern-day, but we have easier access to resources to curb this behavior.

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What do you think about the #MeToo movement? Some people erroneously believe that #MeToo is about getting men fired or bringing down powerful men. #MeToo is more about raising awareness of the long-standing problem of sexual violence and harassment, not only in the workplace but in everyday situations.

Thanks to #MeToo, state and federal laws are changing to address the systemic problems. Keeping up with regulations around sexual harassment in the workplace doesn’t have to be an issue. EasyLLama makes it easy for your business to stay compliant with modern training for your team.

What is EasyLlama?

EasyLlama is a company based in San Francisco. It has a goal “to give companies the tools to reinforce their values, and to empower them to create a safe and comfortable work environment for everyone.” The company bills itself as the “smart way to train your team on sexual harassment.”

The training was created by HR experts that go beyond state and federal requirements to make your workplace safe from sexual misconduct and harassment. It’s been designed to speak to every generation on your team, from Baby Boomers to millennials.

It features 5 to 10-minute micro-sessions with real-life relatable videos that can be watched individually or in a team session. Tracking individual progress is easy through the platform. Employees get email/text reminders to take the next steps in their training. Training is available in both English and Spanish. It’s designed for the modern and mobile workforce. The system can also integrate with HR tools that reduces time spent on data entry and follow up.

Empower your team with resources to prevent sexual harassment

#MeToo isn’t going to go away. The movement is reframing the discussion about sexual misconduct, gender and power. EasyLlama is one tool that can help your team be more aware of behavior that puts your business at risk.

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