116-year-old store Austin Reed is to close most of its stores and cut 1,000 jobs as part of rescue deal with Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
The majority of Austin Reed’s stores will close with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs after administrators to the collapsed menswear chain were only able to find a buyer for its famous brand and stock.
Most of Austin Reed’s stores will be shut, according to the Telegraph, as administrators were only able to convince Edinburgh Wollen Mill – who have agreed to buy the menswear retailer – to take on the chain’s brand and stock.
The retailer fell into Administration in April, one day after the collapse of BHS. AlixPartners’ Peter Saville, Kevin Coates and Catherine Williamson were named joint administrators of the firm.
The group was suffering difficulties with cash flow due to difficult market conditions. Last autumn it revealed a loss of £5.4m for the year to 31 January. This followed a difficult trading period for the retailer that drove it to close 31 stores to pay down debts.
It is understood Edinburgh Woollen Mill will take just five Austin Reed concessions located at the Boundary Mill outlet villages across the north of England, from Austin Reed’s entire estate. The CC womenswear brand will also survive.
Administrators at Alix Partners will now begin looking for buyers for close to 100 properties, which will soon be left empty. Austin Reed’s head office will also close.