Oasis and Warehouse confirm appointment of administrators
Oasis and Warehouse, the Kaupthing-owned fashion chains, have confirmed the appointment of Deloitte as administrator, while talks with potential buyers remain on-going.
Rob Harding and Richard Hawes of Deloitte were appointed as official administrators today and immediately made 202 redundancies at the chains, which employ more than 2,000 staff. Remaining staff will be furloughed under the Government's job retention scheme.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the entire retail industry and not least the Oasis Warehouse Group. Despite management’s best efforts over recent weeks, and significant interest from potential buyers, it has not been possible to save the business in its current form. Therefore today it has been placed into administration," said Deloitte's Rob Harding in a statement.
“As administrators, we appreciate the cooperation and support from the management, employees, customers, landlords and suppliers, whilst we investigate options for the business. This is clearly an unprecedented and difficult time," Harding added.
It emerged last month that the group was in talks with potential buyers having received an approach but after the COVID-19 crisis hit, it became impossible to sell the chains as a going concern. Yesterday it was confirmed that Deloitte had been lined up to take over as administrators.
Failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing took control of Oasis and Warehouse in 2009 when its former parent group Mosaic fell into administration. Mosaic, also owned the Coast and Karen Millen chains, and collapsed during the slump in consumer demand during the credit crunch of the late 00s, as well as the implosion of its then major shareholder, the Icelandic retail conglomerate Baugur.
Coast and Karen Millen were both sold to online group Boohoo last year and closed all of their physical stores. A prior attempt to sell Oasis and Warehouse, which are led by CEO Hash Ladha, was abandoned.
Ladha said of the news: “This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us.
“We as a management team have done everything we can to try and save the iconic brands that we love.”