MENSWEAR chain Austin Reed has collapsed into administration, marking the second casualty for Britain’s beleaguered High Street after the failure of BHS.
Restructuring firm AlixPartners has been appointed administrators to the 116-year old retailer which will continue trading out of its 150 stores as it explores “all possible options” for its future including a sale of all or parts of the business.
The administration comes as a result of cash flow difficulties arising from challenging retail market conditions.
Founded in 1900 the fashion retailer, headquartered in London, has 100 standalone stores and 50 concessions throughout the UK and Ireland. The group employs a total of 1184 staff across its network.
More than 1,000 jobs are at risk following its collapse, which comes less than 24 hours after BHS collapsed into administration.
Peter Saville, Kevin Coates and Catherine Williamson of AlixPartners were today appointed joint administrators over Austin Reed Limited, Austin Reed Group Limited, ARG (Property) Limited, Country Casuals Limited, Country Casuals Holdings Limited and Darius Capital Limited.
Peter Saville, joint administrator, comments: “Our priority now is to work with all stakeholders and determine the optimum route forward for the business as we continue to serve customers throughout the UK and Ireland.
“Austin Reed is a well-regarded and iconic brand and therefore we are confident that it is an attractive proposition for a range of potential buyers, as such we expect, and welcome, contact from interested third parties.”
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The job losses would result from the withdrawal of passporting rights for UK-based financial firms, leading to the partial migration of these firms to the EU27