Some of Topshop’s Australian stores may close after the company operating them was placed into voluntary administration yesterday, due to mounting debt.
Topshop Australia’s franchisee, Austradia, went into voluntary administration on Wednesday evening. Ferrier Hodgson were appointed as voluntary administrators for Topshop by the brand’s owner.
The company had considered its optimal operating structure, according to administrator, James Stewart. It will be business as usual as the administrators work closely with Arcadia Group on supporting and “right-sizing” the Australian business to a sustainable platform going forward.
“The Australian management team are working closely with the administrators to ensure the best possible outcome for the business,” said Stewart.
Launching in Australia in 2011, Topshop / Topman is one of the world’s best known fast fashion retailers operating 9 stand-alone stores locally, 17 Myer concessions and an online business in Australia. In 2015, Myer purchased a 25 % stake in the Australian arm of the fashion chain.
Earlier this year the brand launched its dedicated Australian online stores, both for the Topshop and Topman labels. It’s unsure whether these will continue to operate should the Australian stores close down.
Ferrier Hodgson has confirmed that employees will continue to be paid by the administrators, and normal customer policies such as gift cards and product returns will continue during the administration period.
The news means that hundreds of jobs are at risk; Topshop/Topman has 760 employees and annual sales of approximately $90 million.
Topshop and Topman are the foundational brands of Arcadia Group Ltd, a British multinational fashion retailer.