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Austin Reed to sell Regent Street flagship

Austin Reed has appointed property agency James Andrew International to dispose of its 35,000 sq ft Regent Street flagship.

Drapers understands talks are currently in the early stages, but the lease on the 35,000 sq ft store at 100 Regent Street, which expires in 2033, could fetch up to £20m.

Austin Reed moved to the store, which was formerly occupied by Aquascutum, in 2011 when it sold its lease at 103-113 Regent Street to SuperGroup.

“It has a big basement of 12,000 sq ft, which is not being used, and two upper floors, so it is a big space that will attract a lot of interest,” said a source close to the situation.

The Austin Reed group, which includes the eponymous classic menswear and womenswear chain and mainstream womenswear retailers Viyella and CC, decided to close 31 stores as part of a company voluntary arrangement earlier this year. The Regent Street flagship was not included.

In February, the company’s creditors approved plans to wind up trading of nine Austin Reed and 22 CC stores. Most have now closed.

Another 35 underperforming stores were subject to a 20% rent reduction for 12 months, while the remaining 166 stores were unaffected.

In May, the group received a three-year loan from European retail investment fund Alteri Investors to buy new stock and invest in the group’s online operations. The funding was on top of the £3m pledged by shareholders in February to support a broader operational restructuring.

“Despite the CVA and two cash injections, they’re still not trading well,” one supplier told Drapers.

The company made a pre-tax loss of £1.29m on sales of £109m in its most recent results for the year to January 2014, against a pre-tax profit of £1.77m on sales of £113m a year earlier.

James Andrew International declined to comment and Austin Reed did not respond to Drapers’ request for comment.

@Tara_Hounslea

Readers' comments (2)

  • Oh surprise, surprise! Great Brands going nowhere so get out while the going is good.

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  • Asset stripping before the inevitable?

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