Austin Reed will close all of its 120 stores and cut 1,000 jobs by the end of the month, the administrator of the struggling British menswear chain said on Tuesday (31 May). The company, whichfiled for administration at the end last monthciting a challenging environment, will disappear from Britain's high street after 116 years following administrators AlixPartners revealing it had not received any suitable offers for the business.
"Despite a significant number of interested parties coming forward during this period, it became clear as the process progressed that a viable solution, which kept the business whole, was not forthcoming," said joint administrator Peter Savile.
"As a result, we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate."
Austin Reed, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 when it was taken private by an investment firm for £49 million, said its website was no longer accepting new orders. However, the company indicated orders that have already been placed will be regularly dispatched and gift vouchers can still be redeemed in stores, although they can not be used online.
The owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill has already completed the acquisition of five Austin Reed stores located in Boundary Mills outlet villages in the north of England, saving 28 jobs in the process.
Austin Reed's demise is another devastating blow for the British high street scene, as it comes just over a month after fellow embattled retailer BHS admitted it had lost the battle to stay afloat and entered administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.
It is understood that BHS administrators could announce the sale of some of the retailer's stores later this week.