Apparel retailers flailing

Jean JonesJean Jones, which also operated Platform, is the third local clothing chain to fail since the beginning of 2015. The other two are womenswear chain Identity and midmarket chain Shanton Fashions.

Gina and Keri Condon purchased Jean Jones out of receivership in 2010 but appointed liquidators to their company, Cozican Investments, after the Gisborne Jean Jones clothing store was closed last week among several others.

Currently, with only six of 22 stores still open, the owners owe approximately $1.8 million.

Auckland-based liquidator Chapman-Atkins has been mandated to sell the company.

Liquidator Amanda Atkins said some Jean Jones stores will continue to operate while sale options are assessed. She also said that Jean Jones, of which there is no sign of illegal behaviour, could have failed because of tough trading conditions over the past summer and winter seasons.

Jean Jones was formerly operated by Gisborne-registered company Michael Ward 1969, which was associated with the failure of Gisborne finance company Rockforte Finance. It  was at the centre of a Serious Fraud Office prosecution in 2013 three years after Jean Jones went into receivership.

According to Greg Harford from Retail New Zealand, online shopping is a big part of the pressure on local stores, particularly given the strength of the Kiwi until recently.

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