Lee Cooper- Daniel Tchetchik
Photo by Daniel Tchetchik
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The fashion brand Lee Cooper will be closing its stores by the end of the winter and more than 300 employees will be losing their jobs, Concept Fashion Marketing, which owns the chain, has decided.

The jeans company is apparently the latest victim of the global financial crisis. Its attempt to expand abroad was stymied when the crisis hit. It will be the largest, best known fashion chain to disappear from the Israeli consumer landscape in recent months.

The decision by Concept's board of directors comes after the recent closing of smaller chains including Amica and No Name.

Lee Cooper began laying off dozens of workers from its design department over the past few days, and industry sources predict it'll be gone altogether within a matter of weeks.

Concept had tried to sell off the chain, but failed to find a buyer. It also had sought to turn its Lee Cooper outlets at various malls into stores for different brands.

The chain, founded in 1995, peaked in 2008 with 130 stores and annual turnover of NIS 220 million. It currently has 36 stores.