TM Lewin has collapsed into administration following news that the retailer was eyeing up a pre-pack administration deal.
According to the Mail Online, the group cited the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of its stores in March as the main reasons behind the collapse. The move could result in 600 members of staff being made redundant.
A source told the paper that an email was sent to employees 25 minutes before a team meeting to inform them of the redundancies.
According to the insider, the following meeting lasted four minutes, and was hosted by CEO James Doyan alongside new owner Torque.
It was yesterday reported that the new owner of TM Lewin has called in a restructuring firm as it considered a pre-pack administration deal that could see the closure of a number of its stores.
According to The Sunday Times, SCP Private Equity, who acquired the shirt maker earlier this year, appointed restructuring firm ReSolve ahead of a possible pre-pack administration that would lead to the closure around 66 of its stores.
SCP had reportedly asked TM Lewin’s landlords to agree rent cuts but has now decided to operate the business principally as an online brand.
The firm acquired TM Lewin from Bain Capital for an undisclosed sum in May of this year.
TM Lewin currently has 66 stores in the UK. SCP had reportedly acquired the firm as a going concern and planned to maintain its current suppliers.
A spokesperson on behalf of Torque Brands said: “The Torque team has worked to assess all available avenues for the business model going forwards, but having done so, has formed the view that T.M. Lewin is no longer a viable going concern in its current format.
“The business is unable to sustain current rental agreements for its store network across the country. With all stores still remaining closed due to social distancing guidelines our customers have been unable to shop in store for the past 3+ months; this has forced our hands to focus on a radical overhaul of the business model, rebuilding from the ground up in a fashion we deem fit for the years to come.”
The spokesperson added: “As such, Torque Brands has acquired certain assets of the business via a pre-pack administration. The go forward model will focus around a digital first proposition.
“We firmly believe that the revised business model will deliver the required stability for the T.M. Lewin brand to thrive in future, providing longevity to this Great British brand founded in 1898. We are committed to selling quality tailoring to a global audience, but crucially in a financially sustainable fashion.
“The decision to significantly reduce the scale of the business in order to preserve its future will regrettably result in job losses at T.M. Lewin, as a direct result of the closing of the store network as we right-size the business.
“We will be working to support all affected employees through this testing time, and most importantly, we would like to make a heartfelt thanks and praise to all our colleagues at T.M. Lewin for their continued support and professionalism over the recent months.”