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Fashion Retailer Coast to Close Stores after Entering Administration

Written by: Keith Tully

Reviewed: Friday 12th October, 2018

Coast closing storesThe fashion retailer Coast has entered into administration and is to close its 24 stores across the UK, with around 300 people to lose their jobs as a consequence.

Coast becomes the latest victim of the financial pressures being piled on to high street retailers throughout the country.

However, a pre-pack administration deal has seen around 600 jobs saved at the company, with elements of the Coast business being sold immediately to the fashion brand Karen Millen.

That deal will enable the 145 Coast concessions located within department stores and its online operations to continue trading.

“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,” explained Mike Denny, one of the appointed administrators from PwC, in a statement.

“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.

“Regrettably, other parts of the business including 24 retail stores were not included in the transaction. We will make every effort to help those employees in parts of the business that were not included in the sale and will support those affected at this difficult time.”

Karen Millen’s chief executive Beth Butterwick welcomed the deal that sees her take charge of various aspects of Coast’s business and the employees who will now be operating under her leadership.

“We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family,” she said.

“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.”

High street operators across the UK are currently experiencing extremely tough trading conditions and a growing number of retailers have been plunged into financial crisis as a result.

House of Fraser was among the most high profile casualties of the squeeze on retailers in recent months, with it being forced into administration in August.

Several other very well-known high street retailers including PoundworldMaplin and Toys R Us have collapsed into administration over the course of 2018.

Keith Tully

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Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

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