Nearly 1,000 jobs are set to go at Austin Reed as details of the store's rescue deal started to emerge this morning, and nearly all the stores will be closed.
Administrators were only able to convince Edinburgh Woollen Mill – who have agreed to buy the menswear retailer – to take on the chain's brand and stock.
The retailer fell into Administration in April, one day after the collapse of BHS. AlixPartners’ Peter Saville, Kevin Coates and Catherine Williamson were named joint administrators of the firm.
Peter Saville, joint administrator, said: "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.
"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 group was suffering difficulties with cash flow due to difficult market conditions. The shirt maker was performing poorly; last autumn it revealed a loss of £5.4m for the year to 31 January. This followed a difficult trading period for the retailer that drove it to close 31 stores to pay down debts.
A deal is still being sought for BHS, the collapse of which sparked a select committee inquiry into its sale to Retail Acquisitions for £1.
The select committee has been less than impressed by the answers provided during the course of their investigation so far, but key figures are yet to appear before MPs.