// 2300 jobs at risk amid reports as Oasis & Warehouse prepares to slide into administration
// Deloitte expected to be appointed administrators either today or tomorrow
// News comes 3 weeks after The Oasis & Warehouse Group began exploring a sale of the business
Around 2300 jobs are at risk amid reports that women’s fashion chains Oasis and Warehouse are preparing to slide into administration.
The retailers are expected to appoint big four auditor Deloitte either today or tomorrow to run the insolvency process.
First reported by Sky News, the administration comes as many retailers struggle after being forced to close stores as part of a government-mandated lockdown to the coronavirus pandemic.
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It also comes three weeks after The Oasis and Warehouse Group began exploring a sale of the business and drafted in advisers from Deloitte to hold conversations with potential buyers.
Although there is understood to have been strong interest, the unprecedented uncertainty from the pandemic reportedly made a sale impossible to conclude.
However, Sky News said talks were expected to continue with potential bidders after Deloitte’s appointment is confirmed.
It’s not the first time Oasis and Warehouse were put up for sale.
In November 2016, administrators for Kaupthing – an Icelandic bank that was left with owning the retail business after the 2008 financial crash – launched a sale of the Oasis and Warehouse Group, which then included Karen Millen and Coast.
Kaupthing then withdrew from the sale process in 2017.
It then managed to sell off Karen Millen and Coast to Boohoo last year through a pre-pack administration.
Oasis and Warehouse employs currently employs around 2300 people and trades from 90 standalone stores and a further 437 concessions in department stores.
The company’s impending administration is expected to lead to the furlough of the majority of staff who keep their jobs during the lockdown under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
It also wouldn’t be the first retail casualty brought about the by pandemic.
Laura Ashley became the first coronavirus-linked high street casualty last month after its administration saw it cut 268 jobs and shut 70 stores.
Last week, department store chain Debenhams officially filed for administration, making it the second time within a year that it had taken this kind of insolvency process.
Debenhams said the decision to enter administration was aimed at protecting the business from the threat of legal action from creditors, which could risk pushing the retailer into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed due to the government-mandated lockdown.
Meanwhile, Cath Kidston filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last week as the Covid-19 crisis took its toll on the retailer.