// Administrators officially conclude sale of Antler’s online retail business
// Antler’s brand, assets and online retail business were sold to an ATR group company
// There is no indication its 18 standalone stores would roepen
Antler’s future on the UK retail scene has been secured after administrators found a buyer to takeover its online operations.
The joint administrations for the suitcase brand and retailer said they have concluded a sale of Antler’s brand, online retail business and assets to an ATR group company.
The news comes after the business was placed into administration on May 19, at the heart of the coronavirus lockdown period, which prompted permanent store closures and 164 job cuts.
Prior to its administration, Antler employed a total of 199 staff and operated from 18 standalone stores, one concession, and its own ecommerce channels.
It also sold wholesale to large chains across the UK, including John Lewis and Selfridges.
The suitcase brand had been acquired by fashion tycoon Michael Lewis in February from private equity firm Endless.
Its sales were reportedly solid before the pandemic but were hit hard by the lockdown as well as global travel restrictions.
Following their appointment, the joint administrators from KPMG – Will Wright and Steve Absolom – continued to trade the business via its online channels.
The small number of staff retained by the joint administrators to assist with trading have transferred to ATR as part of the transaction.
The joint administrators also confirmed that Antler’s administration process has officially concluded, with no indication that its stores would reopen.
“We are delighted to have concluded this deal which safeguards the future of this storied and iconic brand,” Wright said.
“With travel restrictions now easing, ATR is in a strong position to be able to take the Antler business forward.”
Antler chief marketing officer Amber Spencer-Holmes: “Antler holds a unique position in the market, designing contemporary luggage and travel accessories with the quality and reliability expected of a brand with over 100 years of expertise.
“We remain an ambitious and highly motivated team, and with a fresh new website launching imminently, we’re confident Antler has the positioning, product development plans and digital-first strategy in place to secure a successful future.”
Antler was founded in 1914 in Bury, Lancashire.