Vintage-inspired fashion chain Cath Kidston has announced it will close all 60 of its UK stores to trade exclusively online.
Earlier this month the struggling retailer appointed Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) as its administrators but it has now confirmed that its parent company Baring Private Equity Asia, will buy the brand and retain the its e-commerce platform and franchise and wholesale businesses.
This means that Cath Kidston will now become a digital-only retailer, with shops including its outlet store at Cheshire Oaks, shutting for good.
Only 32 out of the retailer’s 940 UK employees will retain their jobs to continue running the business online, according to national reports.
Melinda Paraie, CEO of Cath Kidston, said: “While we are pleased that the future of Cath Kidston has been secured, this is obviously an extremely difficult day as we say goodbye to many colleagues.
“Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of COVID-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form.”
Cath Kidston used to have a branch on Chester’s Eastgate Street but it closed in June 2018, having been a fixture in the city centre for six years.
Its trade could have been affected when an outlet store opened at Cheshire Oaks in April 2017.
A spokesperson for Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), said: “While we are disappointed that the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the cessation of the retail store network and impacted many employees, we are pleased to have secured a future for a number of Cath Kidston staff and the Cath Kidston brand in the form of a viable digital business.”
The brand was set up by Cath Kidston in 1993 and has more than 200 outlets around the world.
By Carmella de Lucia
Source: Cheshire Live