Jeanswest appoints voluntary administrators

Jeanswest appoints voluntary administrators

Classic Australian clothing retailer Jeanswest faces a possible restructure after voluntary administrators KPMG stepped in today.

KPMG's Peter Gothard and James Stewart have been appointed as voluntary administrators for the brand which first opened its doors in Perth in 1972.

The announcement will only impact Jeanswest's 146 stores across Australia, with the company's international business expected to continue as usual.

Known for its quality denim goods and wardrobe staples, the retailer employs 988 people around the country. 

KPMG Partner and voluntary administrator Peter Gothard says a review of the business will be conducted, with options including a restructure or even a sale of the business all on the table.

"Jeanswest will continue to operate while the Administrators conduct an urgent analysis of the business," says Gothard.

"The Administrators will be looking at all options for the restructure or sale of this established Australian retail business and are seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties interested in acquiring or investing in the business."

KPMG voluntary administrator James Stewart says the company has been hit hard by the changing Australian retail environment like many other heritage Australian brands.

"Like many other retailers, the business has been challenged by current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition," says Stewart.

"The Administration provides an opportunity for Jeanswest to restructure so as to better respond to the challenging Australian retail market."

The first meeting of Jeanswest creditors will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday, 28 January.

The voluntary administration of Jeanswest follows in the footsteps of two other major names in Australian retail.

In late November women's fashion retailer Bardot appointed KPMG to manage its voluntary administration.

Bardot announced in early January that it will close 56 stores across the country in order to remain in business resulting in more than 500 employees losing their jobs.

Department store chain Harris Scarfe similarly fell into receivership in December despite its strong customer satisfaction track record and annual sales of $380 million.

The company announced in early January that it would close 21 stores this month, meaning around 88-full time, 128-part time, and 224 casual positions would be impacted.

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