Coast enters administration and Karen Millen buys parts of the business
The Coast women’s fashion chain has entered administration and will close all 24 of its stores, although Karen Millen has bought parts of the business thereby saving 600 jobs.
The brand’s staff were informed yesterday that PwC had been appointed as administrators of Coast Holdings, Coast Retail and Coast Fashions. The move means some 300 jobs are still at risk.
Mike Denny, joint administrator, said the businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear.
Coast operated numerous concessions in the collapsed House of Fraser department store chain.
Under Karen Millen, Coast will trade mostly through its websites, in concessions across the UK and through its wholesale and franchise partners. Coast’s standalone stores and the concessions on mainland Europe were not included in the deal.
In a statement, Karen Millen said Coast gift cards and returns will continue to be honoured.
Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Karen Millen, said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family. With its beautiful fabrics, stunning colours and signature designs, Coast is a much-loved fashion brand that has dressed women for all occasions since 1996. Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”
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