Boardriders Layoffs Expected to Conclude by End of Month
In total, 84 positions will be eliminated in California across the group’s Huntington Beach headquarters; RVCA’s Costa Mesa office; the Mira Loma distribution center; and Universal City, where there is a Billabong store at Universal CityWalk,according to documents filed with the state.
“Due to Boardriders Wholesale LLC(‘s) recent acquisition by Authentic Brands Group and resulting restructure, the company is initiating necessary but difficult measures,” Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Marques said in the company’s notification to the state.
The majority of the positions, 72, are based out of Huntington Beach and included the CEO position, in addition to positions in design, marketing, finance, merchandising, sales, planning, and buying at brands such as Quiksilver, Roxy, and Billabong, according to the filing.
The wave of layoffs began Sept. 1. A second group was terminated between Sept. 14 and Sept. 30. Two additional rounds are expected between Oct. 13 and Oct. 27, in addition to Oct. 31, according to the company’s notice to the state.
A spokesperson for Authentic Brands did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
The Boardriders portfolio includes Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element, VonZipper, Honolua, and Boardriders.
Former Boardriders CEO Arne Arens said in a LinkedIn post last month he was taking the next few months off “to calibrate what’s next.”
“It’s been an intense and rewarding journey over the past 2.5 years: we stewarded a portfolio of iconic brands through choppy waters, completed a transaction of the company and worked together with an amazing group of people,” Arens said in his post. “A huge thanks to all of our teams around the world, our partners at Oaktree Capital and ABG for their support along the way. I wish nothing but the best to our brands and our people for the next chapter of the journey.”
Arens came to Boardriders after a long stint at The North Face, where his last position was global brand president. He took the top spot at Boardriders in February 2021.
Outside of the Huntington Beach office, 10 cuts came from RVCA headquarters, and were effective Sept. 1. That group of layoffs included RVCA President and founder Pat Tenore, in addition to design, marketing, and merchandising positions.
The RVCA founder could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Tenore in July put together a temporary exhibition in Costa Mesa, called “Exit Through the Surf Shop,” that included several art pieces that had at one time decorated RVCA headquarters. Tenore, during the opening night of the exhibition, when asked by SES of his future plans, responded “I’m just doing me.”
Transition to Licensing
Authentic closed on its $1.25 billion purchase of Boardriders in September and is now transitioning to a model incorporating licensing agreements for the brand portfolio.
Late last month Liberated Brands was named a licensee for several Boardriders brands. Its deal with Authentic includes a long-term agreement to handle the U.S. and Canada retail and e-commerce operations for Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, Honolua, and Boardriders.
That amounts to an additional 87 physical stores under Liberated’s umbrella, bringing the total store count it now oversees to 202.
Liberated, under the deal, is also now U.S. and Canada licensee and wholesale distributor for the adult sportswear, activewear, swim, outerwear, headwear, and base layer categories for Billabong, RVCA, and Honolua.
SES reported in July on several other licensing agreements in place, including O5 Apparel for Quiksilver wholesale, along with the Levy Group and 2253 Apparel, among other partners, for Roxy.
A transition team is in place at Boardriders to handle the change to licensing partners, with a number of those licensees having hired former Boardriders employees.
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