80 job losses loom as Karen Millen’s Aussie arm enters administration

Karen Millen Australia enters administration, job losses loom as all stores shut
Karen Millen has a smaller presence in Australia than it does at home in the UK, but all of its stores and concessions are slated to close down nonetheless.
// Karen Millen in administration in Australia, placing 80 jobs at risk
// The move had been widely expected after Boohoo acquired Karen Millen in a pre-pack administration deal

The Australian arm of Karen Millen has been placed into administration, a month after its British-based namesake was bought by Boohoo in a pre-pack administration deal.

Deloitte partners Richard Hughes, Tim Norman and Michael Billingsley were today named as joint administrators for the Australian business of the British retailer.

It’s expected that all seven of Karen Millen’s standalone stores along with its eight concessions will shut down, leading to around 80 job losses.

“With the UK business now sold and the label withdrawing from Australia, we expect to wind down the business here and progressively close all stores in the coming weeks,” Norman said.

The move had been widely expected after Boohoo last month acquired Karen Millen in a £18.2 million pre-pack administration deal.

The deal sees Boohoo acquire the brands, intellectual property and online business of Karen Millen and Coast – but not the physical store estate.

The deal resulted in 62 initial job cuts, but speculation was rife that Karen Millen and Coast’s remaining 1100-strong workforce would also be vulnerable.

Since then, chief executive Beth Butterwick left her role amid further redundancies in the pattern cutting teams.

Coast had only been part of the Karen Millen family since December, when the latter acquired the former’s UK concessions portfolio and online business.

While the online business has been saved, Karen Millen and Coast will continue to trade through its 32 stores and 177 concessions in the UK for a short time as an administration process continues.

Boohoo is poised to relaunch Karen Millen and Coast’s online offering in early October.

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