The Decline of True Religion. What Happened? 10 Marketing Tips

1024 589 tony

The Decline of True Religion. What Happened? 10 Marketing Tips

Having emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, the coronavirus pandemic has once again forced high-end jeans maker True Religion to declare bankruptcy for a second time, as discussed over at While the restrictions brought about by COVID-19, forcing nonessential business to close, may have pushed it over the edge, the company had been in decline long before the pandemic came along. This article, with the help of the subject matter experts over at, will look to highlight the factors that led to the company’s decline, to help you with marketing tips that should help your business to avoid traveling down the same road.

Declining department store

One of the main reasons behind True Religion’s decline was the fact that its jeans were sold in department stores, which have been on the decline as consumers increasingly opt to shop online, as is discussed over at and This means that the company was not well-positioned to fight off online competitors, leading to dwindling sales and earnings, which culminated in the company filing for bankruptcy for the second time earlier this year.

Design missteps

The jeans market, particularly when dealing with high-end jeans, is an extremely competitive one, with consumers here also being extremely fickle. True Religion was, therefore, going to suffer, when they stumbled through a series of design missteps that left customers underwhelmed, as is discussed over at When it comes to buying jeans, customers are always looking for the next new and trendy thing, and they were quick to abandon ship when True Religion delivered some extremely boring and uninspiring designs in recent years.

A poor in-store experience

With more and more people opting to shop online, if you are to attract customers to your brick-and-mortar store, you will need to offer them an excellent in-store experience to attract them. This is another area where True Religion failed, as its customers began complaining about boring store displays that did nothing to inspire people to head over to their displays. As per the folks over at, this is another factor that contributed to the company’s decline as it impacted on sales, leading to poor earnings.

Heavy debt after being acquired by a private-equity firm

The company was also burdened with heavy debt when it was taken over by the private-equity firm, TowerBrook Capital in 2013, a trend that is now familiar as is discussed in detail over at This takeover burdened the company with debt, which contributed to its first bankruptcy, and has been chocking it ever since, leading the company well on its way to filing for bankruptcy a second time this year.

Growth of online retail

As already mentioned earlier on, and discussed over at, more and more people are opting to shop online. The trend of consumers moving away from traditional retail to online shopping is another factor that has contributed to True Religion’s decline. With shoppers shifting from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce stores, the company suffered a decline in foot traffic to its stores, which impacted sales and is yet another factor that has contributed to its decline over the years.

The rise of fast-fashion

As is revealed in discussions on the same over at, the rise of fast-fashion brands has placed many apparel retailers under significant pressure in the last couple of years. This is the case for True Religion which has come under increased pressure from fast-fashion brands such as Zara and H&M, which have not only been able to capitalize on the fact that True Religion designs have been uninspiring lately, they also carry lower prices and as such has been more attractive to consumers, leading to True Religion’s decline.


As the gurus over at will tell you, consumers now have options, with mobile technology, and can do their research and find the products they want at prices they are willing to pay. This has meant that consumers were no longer willing to buy True Religion’s extremely expensive jeans with the company’s prices not matching its designs and styles. The company’s customers begun to leave, and it was slow to react and make a change as far as its price points were concerned, which played a major role in its decline.

Generational shift

Experts, including those over at, also point out that True Religion’s signature large stitching and flashy logos are badly out of style to many younger shoppers, which became more and more of a problem over the last couple of years. The company needed to refresh its branding to target the younger generation, particularly millennials, with aspirational marketing that would attract them towards its brand, but it failed and lost out to newer brands who were more attractive to the younger generation. This is yet another factor that contributed to True Religion’s decline and eventual filing for bankruptcy.

Failing to adapt to new trends

As is covered in detail over at, over the last couple of years, athletic wear has transformed into everyday wear, with consumers deciding they want to look athletic even if they don’t work out or do yoga; making this a consumer born trend. True Religion failed to note and adapt to this trend, and as such, instead of adding stretch fabrics like other denim brands like Levi’s, the company stuck with its jeans and T-shirt combination. The company was then left behind, with consumers thinking its designs not to be cool, contributing to its decline.

The casualization of luxury

According to the gurus over at, recent years have seen a certain casualization of luxury, an example being the fact that people are increasingly opting to buy sneakers rather than expensive luxury Jimmy Choos or Louboutins. The younger generation isn’t that interested in spending big on luxury fashion, and this has badly affected the luxury denim market. True Religion needed to come out with casual designs, but it didn’t, which is another reason that led to the company’s decline and filing of bankruptcy for a second time.

As always, if you are looking for more information on this and other related topics, then the highly-rated and have you covered.