Cycling apparel brand Pearl Izumi cuts staff, plans sale of Louisville headquarters
Editor’s note: This report first appeared at BusinessDen.com, a BizWest news partner.
Four months after being acquired by a California sporting goods group, Louisville-based cycling apparel brand Pearl Izumi USA Inc. has cut staff and plans to sell its headquarters building.
Candi Whitsel, spokeswoman for parent company United Sports Brands, confirmed the layoffs, although she declined to disclose how many employees were affected. Pearl Izumi said in a 2018 company blog post that it had 95 staff members at the time.
“There were synergies as a result of the acquisition, and we’re reinvesting funds into working dollars like product and building the brand,” Whitsel said.
The company’s decade-old, 55,000-square-foot headquarters building at 101 S. Taylor Ave. in Louisville has yet to hit the market. Whitsel said remaining Colorado employees will have the option to either work remotely or move to USB’s headquarters in Fountain Valley, California.
“The building prior to our purchasing Pearl was already half full, so between those moves and the work-from-home policies that were accelerated during COVID, the building in Colorado is mostly vacant,” Whitsel said. “It doesn’t make sense from a sustainability and financial standpoint for us to keep a large building that was mostly vacant even prior to us acquiring the company.”
Whitsel said the company might consider purchasing a smaller amount of office space locally in the future.
“We don’t expect it to sell in a day,” she said. “So, for now it will be business as usual.”
In addition to Pearl Izumi, United Sports Brands also owns other outdoor brands including Nathan, Cutters, and Shock Doctor. The company acquired Pearl Izumi from Shimano, a Japanese bicycle part and fishing gear manufacturer, in May for an undisclosed amount.
Pearl Izumi was originally founded in Tokyo in 1950. In 1989, four investors in Boulder bought the rights to the brand for use in the American market. The parent company of the U.S.-based Pearl Izumi, DashAmerica Inc., was acquired by Shimano in 2008 for approximately $80 million.
Pearl Izumi’s Louisville headquarters on nearly 8 acres was built for the brand in 2013. The last recorded sale in deeds was DashAmerica’s $597,627 purchase of the land.