T.M. Lewin has collapsed into administration for the second time in two years as trading continued to be impacted by the effects of the pandemic.
The menswear retailer confirmed that Will Wright and Chris Pole from Interpath Advisory have now been appointed as the latest joint administrators to the group.
The retailer first appointed administrators in June 2020, however, citing the temporary closure of its stores in March of that year as one of the main reasons behind the collapse.
At the time, it was reported that the new owner of T.M. Lewin had 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 early in 2020, appointed restructuring firm ReSolve ahead of a possible pre-pack administration that would lead to the closure of around 66 of its stores.
Prior to the pandemic, the company had grown to operate more than 150 shops worldwide, but after the initial impact of Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions prompted the first insolvency process, it moved to an online-only model, trading exclusively in the UK from the summer of 2020 onwards.
Since then, trading has continued to be negatively impacted by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, according to Interpath Advisory. While social distancing measures were lifted in early 2022, the cumulative impact on its cashflow was “such that, after exploring options for the business, the decision was taken to place the company into administration”.
Will Wright, head of Restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “Over the course of the pandemic, men’s apparel – and formalwear in particular – has been one of the hardest hit parts of the retail sector, as work-from-home measures and restrictions on events meant demand for suits and formal tailoring waned.
“Unfortunately, and despite the company undergoing a significant restructuring at the start of the pandemic which saw it move to an online model, the impact on this famous British brand has been severe. Our immediate priority is to explore options for the business, including a sale of the business and its assets.”