Aspinal of London launches CVA proposal in a bid to exit stores

Leather goods and handbag brand, Aspinal of London is seeking to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructure proposal that could see it close a number of its stores close.

The company which is majority-owned by chairman Iain Burton said the brand has “been impacted profoundly by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumer confidence and footfall”, according to KPMG.

In January, Aspinal of London drafted in KPMG advisers to review funding options during talks about a potential sale of the company.

Aspinal of London employs over 300 staff and is looking to potentially close some of its 10 standalone stores, most of which have not reopened since the Coronavirus lockdown. It also runs concessions in Harrods and Selfridges.

Proposed nominee of the CVA and partner at KPMG, Will Wright said: “Covid-19 has presented a number of challenges for those operating in retail and the luxury goods sector, not least the impact of reduced footfall across high street stores.”

“If approved, the CVA proposal provides Aspinal with a platform from which it can refocus its business on its core online and premium concessions channels, providing a solid and sustainable grounding for the future.”

Aspinal of London reported an 11% year-on-year increase in turnover to £35m for the year to 31 March 2019. Losses before tax doubled to £4.4m, whilst operating losses rose to £4m, compared with a loss of £1.7m in 2017/18.

The accessory brand was founded in 2001 by Iain Burton and created handcrafted stationery for the Natural History Museum, eventually moving on to sell leather goods such as handbags, wallets and other accessories.