Monsoon And Accessorize To Permanently Close 35 Shops As Company Goes Into Administration
Despite trading well before the coronavirus pandemic, the chain was hit hard when it had to close all of its 230 UK stores for almost three months.
The news comes only a week after Monsoon-Accessorize gave warning that it risked permanently closing stores if landlords didn't waive rent charges.
A reported 545 staff are at risk of redundancy as a result of the store closures.
However, in happier news, founder Peter Simon has struck a deal in which he will buy the company back after filing for administration.
Purchasing the chain under new holding company Adena Brands, Mr Simon plans to reopen the Monsoon and Accessorize chains - but with fewer shops.
The new deal promises an injection of £15million into the retailer, which will allow its remaining stores to stay open.
Adena Brands has said the company "hopes to be able to save as many as 100 stores".
In addition, a reported 450 jobs will be transferred to Adena Brands as part of plans to save the business.
The company will enter into negotiations with landlords to secure better deals on rent for its remaining leases, administrators said.
Peter Simon said: "Ever since I opened the first Monsoon store in Beauchamp Place in 1973, this business has been my passion and my life, and I did not want to see it fall victim to this unprecedented crisis.
"Both Monsoon and Accessorize were trading well before the coronavirus pandemic but the business simply could not withstand the financial impact of having to close all its UK, franchise and joint venture stores for almost three months.
"This deal secures the future of both Monsoon and Accessorize and means we can continue to serve our customers online without a pause."
Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, added: "We had to move quickly and decisively to secure the future of Monsoon and Accessorize, as many jobs as possible and the presence of these two iconic brands on the UK high street.
"After assessing a range of options this deal achieves those goals with least disruption to the business in an already challenging retail environment.
"We are now committed to working with Adena Brands as they enter talks with landlords to agree future terms across their store portfolio and look to transfer more jobs to the buyer.
"We'll also be working with the Redundancy Payments Service to support all affected employees through this difficult time."
The full list of Monsoon-Accessorize stores to permanently close is:
- Cork, Patrick Street A, Republic of Ireland
- Cork, Patrick Street B, Republic of Ireland
- Dublin, Republic of Ireland
- Liverpool Airport
- St Albans
- Sutton Coldfield
- Tunbridge Wells
- York, Davygate
Featured Image Credit: PA