// Monsoon Accessorize’s future secured as founder Peter Simon leads buyout
// Deal covers both brands, head office and distribution centre
// Talks to rescue at least 100 of the current 230 stores, with 545 job cuts immediately
The future of Monsoon Accessorize has been secured after founder Peter Simon led a buyout, although not all jobs and stores will be rescued.
The buyout deal from Adena Brands Ltd, a company ultimately controlled by Simon, covers the retailer’s brands, head office and distribution centre.
Adena is now set to enter talks with the landlords of many of Monsoon and Accessorize’s 230 stores to see if they can reach terms to reopen them once the coronavirus lockdown ends on Monday.
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The firm said it hoped to save as many as 100 of those stores, meaning there are still potential jobs cuts in the future.
Retail Gazette understands that there will be an immediate loss of 545 jobs and 35 store closures.
Before it fell into administration last night, Monsoon Accessorize employed 2300 people across its stores and 4500 in the supply chain.
Monsoon Accessorize said it went into administration last night because the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown since late March made the business unviable.
Following a sale process instigated by administrators from FRP Advisory, Adena acquired both Monsoon and Accessorize to ensure they continue to trade.
The terms of the deal include a cash injection of up to £15 million by Simon, in addition to the £12 million he invested in the business at the time of its CVA last year.
The acquisition encompasses the Monsoon and Accessorize brands and intellectual property, the head office and design teams, and the group’s distribution centre in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.
Both Monsoon’s and Accessorize’s online operations will continue to serve customers without a pause.
“Both Monsoon and Accessorize were trading well before the coronavirus pandemic but the business simply could not withstand the financial impact of having to close all its UK, franchise and joint venture stores for almost three months,” Simon said.
“This deal secures the future of both Monsoon and Accessorize and means we can continue to serve our customers online without a pause.
“In addition, we will now try to save as many of our stores as possible, depending on the outcome of various discussions with landlords.
“I would like to thank landlords for the helpfulness and enormous forbearance they have shown so far, which has enabled us to get to this point.
“Ultimately, we hope to be able to save as many as 2300 jobs in this process, and more than 4500 in our supply chain, although unfortunately not all of them.
“We believe that fashion has a future on the high street, and we are prepared to commit time and money making it work.
“Monsoon and Accessorize will both emerge smaller and stronger after this but essentially the same – with our unique design flair and commitment to environmental standards and ethical trading intact.
“I am looking forward to working with everyone to overcome this crisis and make the next chapter in our history a success.”