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Alex and Ani Jewelers Shutters Most Stores, Switches to Remote Work Model July 06, 2023 (0 comments)


East Greenwich, RI--The once-ubiquitous accessory brand, Alex and Ani, has shuttered 20 stores, including all Rhode Island locations, over the past weekend. In addition, the Ocean State-based headquarters has been vacated, shifting to a remote work model.

[Image via What Now Atlanta]

According to a report published in Providence Journal, approximately 50 employees based at the East Greenwich headquarters were informed about transitioning to remote work this Tuesday. "Alex and Ani has implemented a work-from-anywhere model that allows Alex and Ani to hire talent all across the country," said CEO Scott Burger, as per the report. The firm aims to balance flexibility and collaboration with its employees while exploring future office space options.

Alex and Ani confirmed that only seven stores will stay operational per the report. The nearest Rhode Island customer store is in Disney Springs, Florida. With the company's physical stores largely closed, its products now predominantly feature at The Paper Store locations.

"Alex and Ani has been reimagining various aspects of our company over the past few years,"  Burger noted, per the report, outlining strategic shifts in warehouse location, assembly operations, and implementing a new ERP system. The goal, he added, is to create a strategic omnichannel environment that responds effectively to shifts in retail and consumer behavior.

Founded in 2004 by University of Rhode Island alumnus Carolyn Rafaelian, Alex and Ani gained popularity for their collectible charm-laden bangles. At the zenith of its popularity, the brand boasted over 100 stores nationwide and landed Rafaelian on Forbes's list of America’s richest self-made women from 2016 to 2019.

The report noted that the company faced a significant downturn in 2020 when Rafaelian lost control of Alex and Ani to investor Lion Capital. A bankruptcy filing followed in 2021. Last year, a $17.5 million loan from Second Avenue Capital Partners offered a lifeline for the beleaguered brand's capital requirements.

Learn more in the entire Providence Journal report.

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