More than 500 jobs to go as Monsoon Accessorize collapses into administration

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More than 500 jobs are set to go after Monsoon Accessorize collapsed into administration, as the hit from coronavirus threw its turnaround plan off course.

The fashion firm said it expects to make 545 staff redundant through 35 store closures.

The closure announcement comes despite Monsoon founder Peter Simon buying the business out of administration almost immediately.

That deal will transfer around 450 jobs to Adena Brands, owned by Mr Simon, which has promised to inject £15m into the business to allow the remaining stores to stay open.

Mr Simon will try to renegotiate with landlords to get a better deal on the remaining 162 store leases.

Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “We had to move quickly and decisively to secure the future of Monsoon and Accessorize, as many jobs as possible and the presence of these two iconic brands on the UK high street.

“After assessing a range of options this deal achieves those goals with least disruption to the business in an already challenging retail environment.

“We are now committed to working with Adena Brands as they enter talks with landlords to agree future terms across their store portfolio and look to transfer more jobs to the buyer.

“We’ll also be working with the Redundancy Payments Service to support all affected employees through this difficult time.”

FRP Advisory has been working with Monsoon Accessorize since the end of March, when they were enlisted to explore options for the business following the announcement of lockdown, forcing the retailer to close its 220 stores.

Last July the firm had launched its CVA which led to the closure of 40 stores and rent reductions on 135 other sites.

Mr Simon had also invested £12m of his own money into the business as part of that CVA.

The stores which will permanently close are: Basildon, Bexleyheath, Burton-on-Trent, Camberley, Canterbury, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Cork, Patrick Street A, Republic of Ireland, Cork, Patrick Street B, Republic of Ireland, Crawley, Derby, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Hereford, Hitchin, Huddersfield, Kilkenny, Lancaster, Lincoln, Liverpool Airport, Maidenhead, Maidston, Middlesbrough, Newark, Newtownabbey, Northampton, Southend, St Albans, Staines, Sutton Coldfield, Taunton, Telford, Trowbridge, Truro, Tunbridge Wells, York Davygate.

Meanwhile, fashion chain Quiz is placing the division that runs its 82 standalone stores into administration as part of a restructure to offload loss-making outlets and slash its rent bill.

The group said 822 of the 915 staff affected by the decision will remain with the group but that 93 jobs are at risk.

Quiz will look to buy back the stock and some of the assets from the Kast division placed in administration for £1.3 million so it can try to renegotiate better rents with landlords on some of the stores with a view to keeping them open.

It did not disclose how many stores it would be looking to retain as part of the deal.

A small number of job losses are expected across its head office in Glasgow and distribution centre in Bellshill near Glasgow, with others at risk depending on negotiations with landlords.


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