Thursday 21 September 2017

Threat to 358 jobs as receiver appointed at retailer

A-Wear clothes shop on Grafton Street closed after it was announced a receiver has been appointed
A-Wear clothes shop on Grafton Street closed after it was announced a receiver has been appointed

Roisin Burke and Sarah McCabe

MORE than 350 jobs are at stake after A-Wear was placed into receivership yesterday.

The fashion retailer will continue to trade while receiver Ken Fennell, of Kavanagh Fennell, assesses which stores can be kept open and which will cease trading.

A stalwart of Irish fashion retail, A-Wear, has been before the courts in a struggle for survival three times in recent years. And, yesterday the examinership of Latzur Limited, A-Wear's trading company, was announced to have failed.

Mr Fennell will now look at whether customer deposits and vouchers will be honoured and what can be done in terms of selling the business.

The women's clothing brand has 31 outlets in Ireland and nine concession stores in the United Kingdom, and employs 358 staff.

There are 117 full-time staff and 241 part-time staff between all retail operations and the head office functions.

The business had been trading under examinership since early October while an attempt was made to restructure it.

SALES

"In the intervening weeks post examinership, sales projections for the business have not materialised and no viable investment proposal was forthcoming, leaving the business with no option but to seek the appointment of a receiver," a statement from Kavanagh Fennell said. The business will continue to trade under receivership but some stores will cease to trade following an assessment of their feasibility.

"It's a great pity when big brand names that we have come to know over the years find themselves in difficulty and have to close outlets," said Finance Minister Michael Noonan when asked about A-Wear's liquidation at an event yesterday.

"I don't think retail is being left behind [in the recovery] because the retail statistics show an increase over three months or four months in a row now -- but I think what's happening, if you just walk the streets you'll see it -- volumes might have gone up, but an awful lot of retail outlets have marked down prices."

Irish Independent

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