Topshop joins list of retail casualties

TopshopGlobal fast fashion chain, Topshop/Topman, is the latest to join the list of retail casualties, yesterday confirming it has slipped into voluntary administration.

Three partners from restructuring firm Ferrier Hodgson have been appointed voluntary administrators to Austradia, which separately owns and operates the fashion brand’s Aussie franchises, by the company’s board of directors.

Inside Retail has contacted fashion industry veteran Hilton Seskin, who acquired the local franchise for Topshop and Topman in 2011, for further comment.

Topshop/Topman has 760 employees and annual sales of approximately $90 million across nine stores, 17 Myer concessions and online.

Administrator James Stewart said the move was to optimise the operating structure of the business, which will continue to function as usual while Ferrier ‘right-sizes the Australian business to a sustainable platform going forward.’ Stewart also said that employees will continue to be paid.

Weak retail conditions, high wage and rent costs, and fierce competition from emerging online players have been identified as the key factors negatively impacting the Australian clothing retail sector, according to research firm, IBISWorld.

The challenging operating conditions have caused many prominent brands across the retailing industries to enter administration. Some of the casualties over the past year alone have included David Lawrence, Marcs, Payless Shoes, Pumpkin Patch, Rhodes & Beckett, Herringbone, Seduce, Laura Ashley, Josh Goot and Kit & Ace.

According to IBISWorld, numerous new competitors, including online retailers and international fast-fashion brands, and challenging economic conditions have changed the way consumers spend.

Topshop/Topman’s entry into administration may also hold implications for department store giant, Myer which formed an exclusive partnership with to become the brand’s department store partner in Australia. Myer made a 25 per cent investment into Austradia in 2015, as part of its ‘wanted brands’ strategy.

The global chain has also recently launched its local e-commerce platforms.


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