Cath Kidston to close all 60 UK stores - with loss of more than 900 jobs

Retro retail label Cath Kidston is to close all of its 60 UK stores, with the loss of more than 900 jobs (Photo: Shutterstock)

Retro retail label Cath Kidston is to close all of its 60 UK stores, with the loss of more than 900 jobs.

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The fashion label will continue to trade online and via its wholesale and franchise businesses around the world, which includes more than 100 stores.

This comes as part of a rescue deal with its Hong Kong-based owner, Baring Private Equity Asia.

In total, 908 staff will be made redundant. The company employed 941 people in the UK, 820 of whom were furloughed on 22 March under the government scheme.

Rescue deal

Under the rescue deal, which is known as ‘pre-pack’, 32 jobs will be saved. ‘Pre-pack’ involved putting the fashion retailer into administration under advisory firm Alvarez & Marsaland then re-emerging as a much smaller business.

Earlier this month, Cath Kidston warned that it was set to call in administrators after Baring failed to find a buyer for the brand.

Melinda Paraie, the chief executive of Cath Kidston, said: “While we are pleased that the future of Cath Kidston has been secured, this is obviously an extremely difficult day as we say goodbye to many colleagues.

“Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of Covid-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form.”

Richard Fleming, at Alvarez & Marsal, said: “Like every retailer, Cath Kidston has faced significant challenges in recent years, including high rents and changing consumer behaviours. These challenges have been exacerbated by the outbreak of Covid-19, which has been impacting the business globally since the beginning of the year.”

Other fashion chains including Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse have all recently called in administrators.