Pre-tax losses at Austin Reed grew to £5.4m last year compared with a £1.3m loss the previous year.
After a difficult trading period, the troubled shirt-maker was forced to close 31 stores as part of a restructure. In May, the group was given a three-year loan from European retail investment fund Alteri Investors to buy new stock and invest in the e-commerce division. This was on top of £3m invested into the business by owner Darius Capital. The group’s accounts show that shareholders gave £5.6m during 2014 to secure the group’s banking facilities.
Accounts filed at Companies House this weekend show that turnover fell 7.8% from £109m to £100.5m, something the 114 year old tailor blamed on the closure of stores. In its accounts, the retailer said “The web is now the biggest store and this sizeable operation is bringing new opportunities and challenges”.
In August the company put its flagship 35,000sq ft Regent Street store up for sale, 18 years before the lease is due to expire. It is understood that the British retailer could cash in on up to £20m with a sale, and relocate to a smaller space in a less prominent area.
Despite the reduction in store count, Austin Reed admitted that some of its existing 166 stores continue to be at a loss.