The owner of branded fashion to footwear indie Microzine, which went into administration last week, plans to use its online operation to keep the Liverpool business alive.
Administrator Begbies Traynor has been appointed and the Microzine store in Bold Street closed following a decline in trade. However, owner Chris Lee said the Microzine website would continue trading as it is run under a separate company that is not in administration.
Lee said the website would continue the Microzine concept, selling a mix of predominantly men’s trend-led sports fashion alongside furniture and gadgets. The store sold brands including Original Penguin, Victorinox, Lyle & Scott, Puma, McQ by Alexander McQueen and Onitsuka Tiger.
A combination of factors had led to the closure of the Microzine store, said Lee. Increased competition on Bold Street, the city’s hot spot of indie retailers, as well as the opening of the Liverpool One development last year, were significant factors.
“It’s very difficult for indies to survive,” said Lee. “The store took off very well and we were getting good growth and had good, exclusive brands.
“We’re a fashion trainer-based business and we’ve had a number of other retailers opening with a similar offer. Some of the brands that we were stocking exclusively started supplying other retailers, and other brands opened their own standalone stores in the city in Liverpool One.
He continued: “Brands seem to be more interested in volume and multiples now. There’s too much retail and too many suppliers distributing too widely. There has to be a correction, and unfortunately we are part of the correction.”
Lee added that ongoing roadworks last year, which hit many retailers in the city, had also been a factor.
Microzine was forced to close its second store in London’s Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street, last April after it had been open for just one year. Lee blamed high occupancy costs.