High street fashion chain to shut all UK stores in just weeks in hammer blow for Britons
By Roisin Lynch
Published: 29/03/2023- 16:58
Updated: 29/03/2023- 17:14
Fashion retailer Cath Kidston is to shut all of its remaining UK stores as Next buys the company out of administration.
The retailer, known for its floral and retro style, fell into administration in April 2020 with 60 UK stores closing and 908 staff losing their jobs.
The company has managed to continue trading online and the four standalone stores have continued to operate. However, the remaining stores in London, Ashord, Chesire Oaks and York will close within a matter of weeks.
PwC has announced there “will be redundancies” at the business, which currently employs 125 people, but have not revealed the exact number.
Cath Kidston first fell into administration in 2020
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Next has come to the rescue telling shareholders it will buy the brand name, domain names and intellectual property of the business for £8.5million.
Joint administrator and partner at PwC, Zelf Hussain, celebrated the deal saying: “Cath Kidston is a well-loved lifestyle brand founded in 1993 and I am pleased to say that it has been bought by Next who will make sure it continues to flower under their ownership.
“The company has over recent years navigated through incredibly challenging market conditions including the pandemic restrictions, and most recently the decline in consumer spending driven by cost-of-living pressures and rising costs.
“In the short term its four stores will continue to remain open whilst operations are wound down.
“Sadly, there will be redundancies during this period of wind down and we will continue to support the staff throughout this period.”
Cath Kidston is one of a number of struggling companies that has been purchased by Next in the past year.
Last November they bought furniture store Made.com, they also began selling Gap clothing online at the end of 2021.
Earlier this year they took a stake in baby and maternity clothing retailer JoJo Maman Bebe.
Fashion and homeware giant Next have bought up a number of struggling retailers in recent years
The first Cath Kidston store opened in Notting Hill in London in 1993, selling decorating tea towels and bric-a-brac.
The brands owner Nicky Halsam sold the business a number of years ago, and called in administrators in April 2020 as part of an attempted rescue deal by Hong Kong- based Baring Private Equity Asia.
As part of the agreement, the cathkidston.com domain will be licensed back to the administrators for up to 12 weeks to allow stock to be cleared before the brand is relaunched under its new ownership.
The produce will then be availble at one of Next's 500 UK stores.