Cath Kidston races to find buyer to save it from coronavirus crisis

CATH Kidston is racing to find a buyer this weekend to save it from failing due to coronavirus.

The vintage retailer has drafted in advisers to undertake an urgent review of its strategic options.

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The British brand's advisers, Alvarez & Marsal, have notified prospective bidders that offers are required imminently, Sky News reports.

Cath Kidston has 60 shops throughout the UK, employing around 800 people.

Its flagship store in Piccadilly opened in 2016. Globally it has more than 200 outlets.

It was privately owned from its founding in 1993 until a stake was sold to a private equity firm in 2010, in a deal that was reported to be worth £100million.

Baring Private Equity became a substantial shareholders in 2014 and then went on to take control in 2016.

The brand drafted in a new CEO in 2018 – Melinda Paraie who joined from Coach.

Trouble on the high street recently

LAURA Ashley isn't the only retailer to have struggled recently.

In 2019 and so far in 2020 we've also seen:

  • Debenhams axe 22 of its 50 branches
  • Forever21 close 350 stores with its UK branches also at risk
  • Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Italian" chain go bust, alongside his Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants
  • Links of London go into administration putting 350 jobs at risk
  • Marks and Spencer close 35 more stores as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 shops across the UK
  • Dozens of Monsoon and Accessorize stores close
  • While struggling shoe shop Office has said it "could close shops" as part of restructuring plans
  • Fears Pizza Express could be next to go into administration as it "brings in emergency advisers"
  • Hairdressing chain Supercuts went into administration in October putting 1,200 jobs and 220 salons at risk
  • Maternity and baby retailer Mothercare collapsed into administration in November after 58 years on the high street, putting 2,500 jobs at risk
  • Department store chain Beales went into administration in January 2020 with 23 shops and 1,052 jobs at risk
  • High end fashion brand Ted Baker said it plans to axe 160 jobs in February
  • Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehose said in March that it'll close all 531 standalone stores in April

Under Paraie, the vintage chain slashed costs by axing 40 per cent of its head office staff and closing several stores.

But it has lost more than £27million in the past two financial years.

And Cath Kidston says that the coronavirus outbreak has further impacted the brand.

If a buyer cannot be found, the chain could collapse into administration.

Alvarez & Marsal is said to want to complete a sale in a short time-frame, reports Sky.

Earlier this week, Laura Ashley collapsed into administration after talks to rescue the chain failed due to coronavirus, putting 2,700 jobs at risk.

The clothing and furnishing retailer has been struggling with tough high street conditions and recently warned that it needed a £15million loan to survive.

However, it said the coronavirus "had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation".

Laura Ashley goes into administration after talks to rescue the chain fail due to killer bug

In November, Mothercare collapsed into administration after 58 years on the high street, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

Earlier this week, Carphone Warehouse also announced it will close all of its 531 standalone stores, in a move that will lead to 2,900 job losses.


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