Colette by Colette Hayman becomes latest victim of weak retail environment

Handbag and accessories brand Colette by Colette Hayman has become the latest victim of Australia’s weak retail environment, according to voluntary administrators from Deloitte, who were appointed on Tuesday.

“Colette By Colette Hayman has, unfortunately, been impacted by the current weak retail environment, as have many others,” Vaughan Strawbridge, one of the administrators, said in a statement.

The retailer, which sells bags, jewellery and accessories across 140 bricks-and-mortar stores in Australia and New Zealand as well as online, will continue trading while the administrators seek to recapitalise the group or sell the business.

“Given the strength of the brand we are confident we will be able to secure a future for the business and preserve the employment of as many people as possible,” Strawbridge said.

Founded in 2010, Colette by Colette Hayman employs more than 300 permanent staff, plus casuals, and has annual gross sales of over $140 million.

At one time, the retailer also had stores in the UK, according to IMF Investors’ website, which took a significant minority stake in the brand in 2017, but it appears to have pulled out of that market. The UK website redirects to the Australian website.

The retailer has one franchise store in South Africa, which is not affected by the voluntary administration.

More recently, the retailer underwent a rebrand, according to Fashion Journal. The rebrand was to have positioned the company in the fast fashion space, with more frequent releases at lower prices.


It has become increasingly difficult for midmarket retailers to survive, as evidenced by the recent administrations of Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest and Bardot, just to name a few.

According to Strawbridge, employees will continue to be paid by the administrators as trading continues. He is confident there are sufficient assets to meet all employee entitlements.

The administrators will continue to honour gift cards.

Editor’s note: Details about the brand’s international operations have been corrected.

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