Myer has pulled the pin on Topshop – it has quietly been closing its 17 Topshop concessions around the country as it approaches end of financial year and negotiations continue to save the Australian arm of the UK fashion brand total collapse.
If you visited Myer in the last week thinking you’d be able to pick up Topshop merchandise, you would have seen insufficient signage and not a branded Topshop or Topman product in sight.
At Myer Melbourne, apart from the ground level sign at the elevators that points to Topshop at its basement level, there was no other trace of the brand on site. Its once Topshop designated space is now filled with “youth fashion” merchandise from other brands. However, yesterday Topshop merchandise was still available on Myer’s online store.
Myer closing its Topshop concessions comes as a surprise, but as the retailer’s financial year ends in July, it means time is of essence.
In 2015, the retail giant purchased a 20 percent stake in Topshop Australia four years after the brand launched locally, which was run by a consortium, including Topshop founder, Hilton Seskin. Myer this morning declined to comment on the concession pull out or the future of its stake in the business.
In May, Topshop announced that it went into voluntary administration; the news saw Myer investors wipe out more than $30 million off the value of it. Myer’s share price is now 40 percent down, closing at 83.5c yesterday.
The downfall of Topshop Australia has left it with $36 million in debt; Myer as a creditor and shareholder could be stuck with a $10 million debt.
The local Topshop is now in the hands of administrators, Ferrier Hodgson, which has closed five of its standalone stores, including its flagships on Melbourne’s Chapel Street and Chatswood in Sydney. Its online store was closed in May this year, only two months after launching it in March.
The space Myer has to now fill in for the void of Topshop is not minor, so it will be interesting to see what choices they will make around that. Watch this space!