1,000 Jobs Lost

Approximately 1,000 jobs will be lost as fashion merchant Austin Reed proclaimed the bulk of its estate will close down.

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After weeks of uncertainty due to administrators striving to find a buyer for the troubled high street retailer, the shops will close down by the end of June, including the Birmingham City Centre shop in Temple Row as well as the concession outlet in nearby House of Fraser.

Financial services firm AlixPartners Servicers were selected as administrator of Austin Reed and Country Casuals in April as the company was battling cash flow hitches from the recent challenging circumstances inside the retail sector.

Subsequent to the selection, they dealt with the group and shops whilst simultaneously exploring all possible future options.

AlixPartners succeeded in securing a sale of five concessions functioning within Boundary Mills outlets to AR Operations, one of which is in Walsall, however the Austin Reed and Country Casuals brands were traded to Border IP.

A statement issued today said: “Regrettably and despite a sales process supported by creditors over approximately five weeks, no viable offers were received for the sale of the rest of the business including the store estate.

“This therefore means administrators have been left with no alternative but to implement a managed wind-down process of the estate with all stores anticipated to close by the end of June, affecting approximately 1,000 staff in approximately 120 locations.”

Joint administrator Peter Saville added: “Despite a significant number of interested parties coming forward during this period, it became clear as the process progressed that a viable solution, which kept the business whole, was not forthcoming.

“As a result, we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their support and efforts during this unsettling period and wish them well for the future.”

Austin Reed was initiated in 1900 and has 100 standalone stores and 50 concessions throughout the UK and Ireland including in Wolverhampton, Lichfield and two in Stratford.

 

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