Karen Millen snaps up Coast assets as it faces administration
THE women’s clothing retailer Coast has gone into administration, becoming the latest high-profile high-street chain to collapse.
Parts of the business have been bought out by sister company Karen Millen.
The deal will save 600 jobs and 145 department-store concessions, but 300 further jobs remain at risk as 24 of its high-street shops are currently set to close.
PwC has been appointed as administrator.
Mike Denny, a PwC director, said: “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear.
“This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing. Karen Millen will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the new business.”
Under Karen Millen, Coast will trade primarily across its various websites, in concessions across the UK and through wholesale and franchise partners.
Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Karen Millen, said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family.”
She added: “Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”
Over 2018 the high street has been rocked by a wave of store closures and insolvencies as retailers battle rising costs, waning consumer confidence and low footfall. The department store group House of Fraser went into administration in August, owing millions of pounds to suppliers. It was bought for £90m by billionaire retailer Mike Ashley.
Maplin, Toy R Us and Poundworld have already collapsed this year, while Mothercare, Carpetright and New Look have all closed stores.