Nasty Gal Has Indeed Been Acquired By Boohoo

Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images.
Update, February 28, 2017: Today, Boohoo's thoroughly-anticipated acquisition of Nasty Gal became official. A team of existing Nasty Gal employees will remain on board and will continue to be L.A.-based, "to ensure the DNA of the brand is retained," per a release. The U.K. retailer purchased Nasty Gal for a reported $20 million, per WWD.

“We are thrilled to have Nasty Gal as part of our family, and are excited by the opportunity to expand the company into international markets," Carol Kane, Boohoo Group's joint CEO and interim CEO for Nasty Gal, said in in the release. "This is a distinctive brand with a fiercely loyal customer base, and we are committed to preserving that as we move forward into a new chapter.”

Nasty Gal, which was started in 2006, will apparently continue offering private-label clothing and accessories under its new ownership.
Update: Nasty Gal is expected to live on in some form, should the widely-speculated Boohoo acquisition go through, in the near future. In the meantime, though, the brand laid off employees and revealed plans to close its two brick-and-mortar locations earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported. Depending on how you look at it, though, there's a silver lining (sort of): Nasty Gal currently has a ton of discounted inventory right now, and is offering an additional 70% off sale, per Racked. So, at least we can cope with the retailer's imminent closure with some retail therapy.

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This story was originally published on November 10, 2016.

As if it hasn't been a tough enough week for #girlbosses, fashion-favorite brand Nasty Gal (its founder, Sophia Amoruso, coined the popular hashtag) is filing for bankruptcy, WWD reports.

The retailer, which just celebrated a decade in the business, petitioned a court in California with the motion on Wednesday. According to WWD, the decision reportedly came out of an October 24 meeting, where the company's board voted to seek Chapter 11 protection. Amoruso, the de facto face of the brand, will be resigning from her position as executive chairman, according to Recode — a role she assumed after stepping down as CEO in early 2015.

"Our decision to initiate a court-supervised restructuring will enable us to address our immediate liquidity issues, restructure our balance sheet, and correct structural issues including reducing our high occupancy costs and restoring compliance with our debt covenants," Sheree Waterson, Nasty Gal's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We expect to maintain our high level of customer service and emerge stronger and even better able to deliver the product and experience that our customers expect, and that we take pride in bringing to market."

Despite the problems plaguing the company she started in 2006, Amoruso has had a pretty big year. She released her second book; her life story is being turned into a Netflix series, and she was named to Forbes' richest self-made women list this summer.

Nasty Gal did, however, experience an unexpected boost a few weeks ago from an otherwise unfortunate situation: When President-elect Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" during the third and final debate, the attempted jab was quickly reclaimed by the Democrat's supporters online — and Nasty Gal seized the opportunity.

Still, as a business, it hasn't fared as well. In February, Nasty Gal laid off 10% of its staff, per Bloomberg, following months of reports of a work culture gone sour and a series of lawsuits from former employees accusing the retailer of discrimination. A handful of other public blunders and call-outs made many question the fast-growing (and industry-revered) brand.

In its official statement, Nasty Gal assured that its customers' shopping experience wouldn't be affected in light of this petition. There's still no word how this will impact the brand's two brick-and-mortar locations in California.
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