Hope for upmarket retailer Austin Reed to continue as going concern

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 | ADMINISTRATION

Although upmarket tailor and suit retailer Austin Reed has fallen into administration, there are hopes that the brand has enough value to keep the business trading as a going concern one way or another.

The news of its administration appointment comes just days after fellow high street retailer BHS suffered a similar fate, leaving 11,000 jobs in jeopardy. Austin Reed cites cash flow problems due to “challenging retail market conditions” as the main cause.

The suit retailing brand has been a permanent fixture on the high street for 116 years and once counted Sir Winston Churchill and Elizabeth Taylor among its prestigious clients. However, the firm has appointed AlixPartners as administrator while options to keep the business alive are explored.

The upmarket tailor will continue trading while AlixPartners seek out potential buyers for the iconic high street brand. The options include selling off all or parts of the business to keep it afloat.

Peter Saville, a joint administrator at AlixPartners, said: “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.”

Simon Cope-Thompson, a partner at Livingstone Partners, backs up this positive view of Austin Reed: “Two iconic British high street brands heading for administration in two consecutive days feels like a hammer blow for the high street as 204 years of combined retailing history face being wiped out.”

“Like BHS, Austin Reed has struggled to keep pace with a fast-paced, highly competitive market increasingly dominated by online retailers. By failing to embrace digital and modernise its stock range, Austin Reed has haemorrhaged market share to more nimbler rivals.

“But all is not lost at Austin Reed — this is a well-known brand with potential for rejuvenation via transformation. The administration may of course result in the emergence of a re-structured/streamlined group owned by Alteri Investors, who only a few days ago bought the equity and shareholder loans from the previous owners, Darius Capital.

“With 1,200 jobs at risk across the UK, and the high street in crisis, all refinancing options must be rapidly considered by Austin Reed’s management and its key stakeholders. Whatever the outcome the hope must be that if the right owner can be found, who is prepared to invest behind the business and support the brand, then maybe Austin Reed can follow in the footsteps of other successful British retailers that have successfully blended online and offline offerings, and save its status as one of Britain’s oldest high street retailers.”

For more information, see how you can find distressed business opportunities at the right time.


Share this article



Latest Businesses for Sale

Wood Burning Stoves Retailer
North Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, UK

Lifestyle wood burning stoves retailer, iInstaller and wholesaler: Includes stones and reclaim / salvage business. This is a well established family business within the fashionable and lifestyle choice sector of wood-burning stoves. These stoves are...

Asking Price: £165,000
Turnover: £746,000

LEASEHOLD


Fireplace Surround Business
West Midlands, UK

Renowned and respected business, favoured by customers for its unique product offering and its excellent service. Established in 1990, the business has overcome several recessions, continually growing its reputation, workload and customer base. The c...

Asking Price: £750,000
Turnover: £750,000

LEASEHOLD


Garden Machinery Lawnmowers Tool Hire Business
North Wales, Wales, UK

Garden machinery, tool hire, lawnmower sales and repair business, ideally situated within a popular residential area in North Wales. The business is split over two sites, one is a retail unit with workshop, close to the town centre, whilst the larger...

Asking Price: £225,000
Turnover: £310,000

LEASEHOLD



View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News

 
17
 
Nov
 

Warm Zones enters administration | ADMINISTRATION

A North Shields-based non-profit business dedicated to helpi...

 
15
 
Nov
 

Berketex Bride enters administration | ADMINISTRATION

With over 50 years in selling wedding dresses, Berketex Brid...

 
13
 
Nov
 

Intermet Refractories completes MBO deal | MBO/MBI

Intermet Refractories, a metal casting component manufacture...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

Sign up to receive our acquisition alert emails to get your FREE guide

Email


Related News

 
24
 
Nov
 

Austin Reed to make high street return | ADMINISTRATION

Menswear retailer Austin Reed is to return to the high stree...

Want access to the latest businesses for sale?

Business Sale Report is your complete solution to finding great acquisition opportunities.

Join today to receive:

  • Comprehensive range of businesses for sale
  • Make direct contact with business sellers or their intermediaries
  • Access to all UK administrations, liquidations and winding-up petitions
  • Daily email alerts for the latest businesses for sale & distressed notifications
  • Business Sale Report publication posted to you every month
  • Advertise your acquisition requirements on our "business wanted" section

All this and much more, including the latest M&A news and exclusive resources