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Cath Kidston agrees to pay staff wages

Lauretta Roberts
23 April 2020

Cath Kidston has agreed to pay staff wages up to 20 April having initially told staff they would not be paid after announcing the permanent closure of all of its retail stores.

The vintage-inspired British lifestyle brand's e-commerce business was acquired out of administration by its investor Baring Private Equity Asia earlier this week and the closure of its 60 retail stores was confirmed.

Staff had been told via a conference call that they would receive no pay from 1 April to 20 April nor any holiday pay, redundancy pay or a compensatory notice settlement due to the financial situation at the business.

However CEO Melinda Paraie wrote to workers yesterday to inform them that the company had reversed its position and that staff would be paid up until 20 April with the money arriving on 30 April, instead of the scheduled pay day of 24 April. The hundreds of staff that had already been furloughed on the Government's job retention scheme would receive 80% of their salary (up to a cap of £2,500) for April, she confirmed.

“I apologise for the delay in being able to share this information with you, and the anguish that this has caused. I can assure you that there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that these critical payments can be made to you," an email to staff read.

Cath Kidston filed notice of its intention to appoint an administrator on 5 April and on 21 April it confirmed that Baring Private Equity Asia, which has held a majority stake in the retailer since 2014, would be buying its online business only, leaving 900 staff without a job.

Alvarez & Marsal is handling the administration of the business, which was one of the first retail casualties of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK.

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