Austin Reed, founded at the turn of the century in 1900 and the epitome of tailored fashion, is likely to go into administration today. This is the second high street retailer in just a couple of days following BHS, and puts another 1,000 retail jobs at risk.
Austin Reed have already closed dozens of loss making stores last year and moved out of their flagship store on London’s Regent Street in 2011 moving to a smaller unit across the street but still have 155 stores nationwide.
Alteri Investors, who put Brantano into administration early this year and then bought back the majority of the business are also investors in Austin Reed having taken control recently. Alteri specialise in working with retailers who fall into straitened financial circumstances. They said last week “We decided to acquire the equity and shareholder loans [in Austin Reed] to protect our position as secondary lenders to Austin Reed, behind Wells Fargo who remain senior lender“.
It’s desperately sad to see so many high street retailers foundering, not least for the employees of the companies. After 116 years Austin Reed are now struggling to make money and racked up a loss of around £5.4 million last year.