LONDON — AlixPartners Services U.K., the administrators for Austin Reed, have failed to find a buyer for the business. The company said Tuesday it had only managed to sell five of the brand’s concessions.
After five weeks it did not receive offers for the business, which was placed in administration in April.
All 120 stores are now expected to close by the end of June. The closures will affect 1,000 staff members.
“We have explored all options to sell the business since our appointment and continued to trade the business with the support of the secured creditors in what is clearly an extremely challenging retail environment,” said joint administrator Peter Saville.
“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. As a result we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their support and efforts during this unsettling period and wish them well for the future.”
The British retailer was placed in administration the same week as British Home Stores.
Launched in 1900 by Austin Leonard Reed, the company began creating made-to-measure clothing and men’s ready-to-wear. The firm also owns the women’s wear labels Viyella and Country Casuals, which were set be sold with the rest of the group.
Through the decades into the Nineties, the company grew to be one of Britain’s largest men’s wear retailers, with its Regent Street flagship offering everything from suits and sports coats to shirts, furnishings and casualwear. It even had a barber shop on the lower ground floor and offered women’s wear on the top floor. But as the high street became more competitive and Britain’s dress codes grew more relaxed, Austin Reed had difficulties keeping up with the changing fashions and slipped into decline.