Austin Reed collapse to cost 1,000 jobs

Austin Reed bag Image copyright EPA

All 120 Austin Reed stores will close by the end of June at the cost of 1,000 jobs, the administrator said.

AlixPartners said it would wind down the menswear retailer as no viable offers had been received for the business.

Austin Reed fell into administration last month, amid a "challenging" retail market and cashflow issues.

The collapse means that the 116-year-old brand could disappear from the High Street.

Peter Savile, joint administrator, said: "Despite a significant number of interested parties coming forward during this period, it became clear as the process progressed that a viable solution which kept the business whole was not forthcoming.

"As a result we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate."

Five Austin Reed concessions located in Boundary Mills outlet villages in the north of England have been sold to the owners of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, resulting in the transfer of 28 staff.

It also bought the Austin Reed and Country Casual brands.

The retailer's failure follows the recent collapse of department store chain BHS into administration, which put 11,000 jobs under threat.

Administrators may announce a sale of some BHS stores later this week.


Austin Reed's website is no longer accepting new orders, but any purchases already placed will be despatched.

Gift vouchers can still be used in stores but not online.

The retailer's sales had been falling in recent years, with analysts blaming a poorly designed website and "tired" stores.

Austin Reed was last listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, when it was taken private by an investment firm for £49m.

It started as a tailoring business in the City of London in 1900, selling off-the-rack suits that could pass as made-to-measure. The retailer once counted figures including Winston Churchill as customers.

Austin Reed had a concession on the transatlantic liner Queen Elizabeth and supplied clothing for special agents and resistance fighters during World War Two.

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