// Clarks calls in KPMG, Deloitte and PwC to work on a potential restructuring amid Covid-19
// Clarks remains largely owned by descendants of Cyrus and James Clark, who founded the business in 1825
Clarks has reportedly drafted in three of the Big 4 accountancy firms to work on a potential restructuring as it seeks to survive through the coronavirus pandemic.
Clarks’ family shareholders have drafted in KPMG to advise them, while Deloitte has been hired by the company’s management team, Sky News reported.
Meanwhile, PwC has been called in to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the business.
Clarks said its leadership team was currently reviewing all options to “protect” the business and its workers.
Last year, the 195-year old footwear retailer had called for management consultant McKinsey to undertake a review of its strategy.
It has since been in talks with its adviser and investment bank Rothschild as it prepares to close a small number of loss-making stores which will see their leases expire soon.
Nevertheless, the decision to draft in the accountancy firms could mean Clarks is preparing to close a larger number of stores in some of the countries it operates.
Clarks said it was continuing to face “fast-changing challenges” due to the rise of economic and political uncertainty.
The retailer denied last month that it would be exploring a CVA – an insolvency which many retailers have used to undergo a radical restructuring.
Clarks has furloughed thousands of its store staff under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and has been assessing options for the remainder of its workforce.
The retailer is expected to reveal the next step in the coming months as chief executive Giorgio Presca drafts up new plans.
Clarks trades from about 345 stores in the UK.