Bad news for the fashion victims of Shibuya: fashion brand “CECIL McBEE” is starting to close all of its stores due to low sales due to the coronavirus.
Cecil McBEE, a trendy brand for GALS!
Cecil McBee was launched in the 1980s and gained a huge success among young people. Its flagship store located in the popular shopping tower in Shibuya (Shibuya109) recorded monthly sales of around 100 million yen ($ 932,000) during its heyday. But the brand began to be eclipsed by Forever 21, H&M and other newcomers, falling into the red in 2020 with sales of 12.1 billion yen, so about less than a quarter of its former peak.
“CECIL McBEE” was a brand that became popular for Gyaru (gal) fashion in the 90s. Thereafter, it was mainly worn by women in their teens and twenties.
A brand also loved by Japanese celebrities
“CECIL McBEE” is known to have been worn by many celebrities such as singers and personalities like Koda Kumi, Ayumi Hamasaki, Tsubasa Masuwaka, Egg models.
Coronavirus: a fatal blow for the brand
The pandemic was the final blow to the brand, as stores in many parts of Japan were closed for more than two months to stem the contagion. Although stores reopened in mid-May, there are growing concerns about a second wave of infections.
On the Internet, many people reacted to the announcement of the closure and shared their moments of gal nostalgia.
“I liked Cecil McBee because it was cool and I admired the brand. “
A gradual closure
The company will close all 43 Cecil McBee stores across Japan by February 2021, and its branch in the Shibuya fashion hotspot is expected to close in November. Japan Imagination will also shut down several other brands and close 92 stores – nearly 90% of its locations – and lay off most of its 570 employees.
The company decided to close the Cecil McBee stores because it would be impossible to cover the costs if the retail stores were to close again. However, the brand will still be available online.