Monsoon Accessorize will gradually close its dual fascia stores over the next five years as it seeks to decouple the two brands.
The retailer will not renew its leases on the 141 stores. However, it will seek to open separate Monsoon and Accessorize shops in the same areas and Drapers understands the company intends to redeploy the large majority of staff, so the number of job losses will be minimal.
One property source told Drapers: “The shops are in prime locations and a good size so they will have no problem finding retailers to take them.”
The plans to decouple Monsoon and Acessorize were indicated in Monsoon’s trading update in May, when it announced it was undergoing a strategic reorganisation.
At the time, it said it would focus how its three brands – Accessorize, Monsoon Ladies and Monsoon Children – are operated in the UK, developing different strategies to address their distinct customer propositions.
It came after Monsoon Accessorize made a loss last year, when its sales were hit by tough trading conditions in the UK and in some international markets.
Since then, rumours have been circulating that Monsoon Accessorize was considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to allow it to restructure its store portfolio.
However, a finance source told Drapers a CVA was unlikely because the business, which is still owned by its founder Peter Simon, is privately well funded.
Monsoon Accessorize has more than 300 shops in total across the UK.
The company declined to comment.