An international retailer is in the process of closing its Australian chain of stores, in a proactive bid to stave off administration amid “difficult retail trading”.
A media report has suggested that KordaMentha has been appointed to oversee a nationwide shutdown by retailer Crabtree & Evelyn, which sells a range of beauty products and homewares.
“We decided to execute the close-down of Crabtree & Evelyn in Australia through an orderly, solvent wind-down rather than through a voluntary administration process,” Fairfax Media quoted KordaMentha partner Scott Langdon as saying.
“It’s our view that an orderly and solvent wind-down is a responsible and mature response to a difficult retail trading environment.”
According to its website, Crabtree & Evelyn has 13 Australian stores, with five in Melbourne and four in Sydney as well as one each in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Canberra.
Globally, the company has stores in Canada, the US, Mexico, the UK, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia.
Mr Langdon confirmed the Fairfax Media reports, and told My Business that his firm has only been engaged to manage the Australian closure.
He said that a number of the stores have already closed, with the remainder scheduled to shut by the end of January, impacting around 100 local employees.
The Crabtree & Evelyn Australia Facebook page, which continues to be updated and at the time of publishing (10 January 2019) did not mention the shutdown, has more than 30,000 followers.
The Australian website also contains no mention of the shutdown, although it does include a message to visitors stating “we are currently experiencing dispatch delays”.
UK-headquartered Crabtree & Evelyn was founded in 1972.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.