More than 150 staff at Firetrap are being made redundant as the fallout from Sports Direct’s plans for the young fashion brand continues.
Drapers understands most of the 170-strong workforce are now in consultation over their positions at the company, with the process set to be completed on January 31.
Sources said the reduced team of about 12 people will move to an office on Regent Street when they leave Firetrap’s head office in Acton, west London, next week. The brand’s northern showroom in Manchester has already closed, with staff at present working remotely from their own homes.
“There are a shedload of people leaving,” one source told Drapers. “By the end of it, there’ll be about a dozen people staying on.”
The move to cut jobs follows the upheaval in Firetrap’s strategy that parent company Sports Direct instigated in the autumn.
The Mike Ashley-owned sportswear business began selling Firetrap product for less than the wholesale price, both in store and online, from November 1.
The items were made in different factories to the usual product, enabling Sports Direct to charge up to 75% less than recommended retail prices.
The move angered many in the indie community, as it was seen as undercutting those stockists who had remained loyal to the brand since it was
taken over by Sports Direct in March.
Firetrap is now expected to cease its wholesale operations next year, with third-party stockists refusing to take any more Firetrap product.
Some have attempted to return remaining autumn 12 product, claiming they are unable to compete with the discounts on offer, but all have been told theywill have to pay for these orders as normal.
In a letter, sent in October and seen by Drapers, Firetrap drew stockists’ attention to the young fashion brand’s terms and conditions, which state that cancellations can only be made within seven days of the order being placed.
At least one Firetrap stockist is understood to be considering legal action.
As Drapers went to press, Sports Direct had yet to respond.