Tue, 30 Nov 2021 | ADMINISTRATION
High-end fashion brand Roland Mouret has fallen into administration after enduring difficult trading conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand, named after founder Roland Mouret, was well-known for its dresses, such as the Galaxy dress, with its products being worn by a range of celebrities, including the Duchess of Sussex and Victoria Beckham.
As reported by BSR in September, the company had been poised to enter administration, with its sales having been decimated by the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic saw demand for event dresses and formalwear plummet as a result of lockdowns and social distancing, with Roland Mouret’s sales falling 80 per cent at the outset of the crisis.
COVID-19 has proven particularly damaging for high-end fashion boutiques, which typically lack the resilience and cash-flow of more mid-market brands, due to their less-developed e-commerce offerings and lack of international exposure to markets like China.
This has impacted several luxury British designers, including dress-maker Amanda Wakeley, whose company fell into administration in May 2021, and Ralph & Russo, which entered administration in March before being acquired by US investment firm Retail E-Commerce Ventures in July.
Roland Mouret has become the latest victim, entering administration despite making efforts to offset the impact of the pandemic, including selling a minority stake in the business to landlord Grosvenor Britain & Ireland in June and looking to expand its offering in October with the launch of activewear range Roland Mouret Body.
However, this has not proven sufficient to save the business, which has now been placed into administration. The administration will see the company vacate its Mayfair flagship store and offices, with its 50-strong staff leaving the business.
The company had pre-existing issues prior to the onset of the pandemic, which arguably left it particularly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. In 2018, the company had closed its New York store as it looked to refocus its operations on e-commerce.
Initially, this had seemed to be effective, with the company reporting almost £950,000 in post-tax profits on £16.09 million revenue in 2019, up from a near £2.5 million loss in 2018. At that time, its net current assets were valued at £2.69 million.
Read more about the pandemic's impact on the global fashion industry.
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