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Cath Kidston shutters entire UK estate, over 900 staff made redundant

The administrators of Cath Kidston have confirmed that all 60 Cath Kidston stores in the UK have now closed, resulting in 908 staff being made redundant.

Richard Fleming and Mark Firmin from restructuring practice Alvarez and Marsal were appointed as joint administrators to Cath Kidston yesterday.

Immediately following the administrators’ appointment, part of the Cath Kidston business, including the brand, the website and the e-commerce platform, was sold to the business’s parent company Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) in a pre-pack administration deal.

However, the retail store division of the business was not included as part of the acquisition, and administrators said Cath Kidston’s UK stores have now been closed “in line with the latest Government guidance on social distancing to support the Covid-19 relief effort”.

Advisors from the firm were initially engaged by Cath Kidston to explore options to secure the business’ future. Alvarez and Marsal said several expressions of interest were received, yet “despite best efforts”, no offers involved a solvent sale of the business.

Fleming said: “Like every retailer, Cath Kidston has faced significant challenges in recent years, including high rents and changing consumer behaviours. These challenges have been exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID-19 which has been impacting the business globally since the beginning of the year.

“Though we couldn’t find a solvent solution for the whole of the business, we are pleasedthat Cath Kidston, in some form, will be able to chart a new course in the future.”

BPEA aims to continue the business digitally, and yesterday (21 April) a spokesperson for the group 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.”

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