Juicy Leaving L.A.?

Juicy Couture, which was acquired by Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2003, is reportedly disbanding its Los Angeles office and moving its merchant team to New York, according to a story in the New York Post.

The move would mean layoffs of 20 employees, including Chief Merchandising Officer Erin Stern, who joined the brand in 2009. Declining sales, high staff turnover, loss of clientele and a drop in quality thanks to a shift from domestic production to overseas production are credited with spurring the move.

Juicy has been making attempts to inject verve back into its offerings. In 2009, it launched Bird by Juicy Couture, which the company describes as β€œan elevated assortment that meshes streetwear-chic with pedigreed luxury to create the quintessential wardrobe for the modern, downtown muse.” In 2010, the brand hired young turk Erin Fetherston as a guest designer and creative consultant. Stern, who previously held the post of president of Bebe’s Bebe Sport division, was among a handful of executives brought in to revamp the brand. LeAnn Nealz was appointed president and chief creative officer in 2010.

Juicy Couture produces apparel, accessories, intimates, swimwear and fragrances among other categories. The brand sells its products domestically at approximately 100 branded and outlet stores and internationally in more than 60 countries, including the United States, through department stores.

Executives at Liz Claiborne did not return calls for comment and did not provide comment to the Post. β€”Erin Barajas