Administration could prompt sale for fashion retailer East

Wed, 31 Jan 2018

Popular fashion retailer East has fallen into administration, with tough trading conditions and rising wages having a harsh impact on the firm’s profit margins.

The bohemian high street brand, which was founded in 1994, maintained 34 stores and 15 concession stands in department stores across the country. East was previously forced to close 15 stores and five concessions in a pre-pack insolvency deal agreed in 2015, in bid to offload loss-making shops and secure the business’s future.

A tough trading environment in the years since then, however, has seen shoppers cut back spending and high street traffic drop dramatically.

East has now appointed administrators at FRP Advisory to guide the business going forward and to evaluate all possible options going forward.

FRP’s business recovery partners, Geoff Rowley and Phil Armstrong, will oversee the administration. Rowley said that East was “the latest high street casualty” following a tough period of trading for many other popular brands.

The administrator added: “The retailer was making progress to expand its footprint, particularly looking at international opportunities. However it has been unable to secure the necessary funding to realise those plans.

“We’re now working closely with all stakeholders to evaluate the options to sell all or parts of the business.”

Womenswear firm East was founded on the Fulham Road, London in 1994 by former Monsoon employees Clive Pettigrew, Penny Oliver and Jonathan Keating. Since 2012, Fabindia – an Indian retail group which exports ethnic products made by craftsman across India – has been the firm’s controlling shareholder.

Earlier this month, accountants Deloitte have warned that the number of retail firms falling into administration has risen by 28 per cent to hit 118 last year, the first increase recorded in five years.

Click here to view East's administration listing with details of the insolvency practitioners.


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