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GDPR forces US fashion retailer to close EU website

A US clothing retailer owned by a subsidiary of the Walmart Group has been criticised after it was forced to stop trading in the EU due to GDPR rules.

Womenswear retailer Modcloth has ceased activity in Europe, stating that due to new General Data Protection Rules it was “unable to offer products and services to customers in Europe”.

Founded by Susan Gregg Koger in 2002, Modcloth became known as one of the largest independent online retailers prior to being acquired by Jet.com, which forms part of the Wallmart family of companies, in March 2017. 

Florence Allday, beauty and fashion associate at Euromonitor International, criticised the firm for failing to prepare adequately: “Despite having had two years to prepare for GDPR, it is likely that traders like Modcloth did not manage to prepare in time for the deadline. For the majority of large companies like this, losing an entire continent’s business is not a preferable option to amending data harvesting and storage.”

The clothing retailer, which has redirected its entire website to a holding page with a US customer care number, apologised to customers for the inconvenience.

Modcloth has been contacted for comment.

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