Oasis and Warehouse Group has appointed accountancy firm Deloitte as administrator, resulting in 202 redundancies.
Restructuring partners Rob Harding and Richard Hawes were appointed as joint administrators today [15 April] and will oversee the restructuring.
Today’s announcement will result in 202 redundancies. A total of 41 head office roles will be retained to assist the administrators and 1,801 employees will be furloughed across head office, stores and concessions.
Oasis, Warehouse and Idle Man brands will continue to trade online in the short-term whilst the administrators assess options for the future.
The brands trade from 92 branches across the group’s leasehold stores, with 437 concessions located in third-party retailers. The operations in Ireland, Sweden and worldwide franchise partners remain outside of today’s appointment.
The High Court has appointed provisional liquidators to the Irish arm, which comprises 11 stores and around 29 concessions across the group.
Deloitte’s Harding said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the entire retail industry and not least the Oasis Warehouse Group. Despite management’s best efforts over recent weeks, and significant interest from potential buyers, it has not been possible to save the business in its current form. Therefore today it has been placed into administration.
“As administrators, we appreciate the cooperation and support from the management, employees, customers, landlords and suppliers, whilst we investigate options for the business. This is clearly an unprecedented and difficult time.”
Hash Ladha, CEO of Oasis Warehouse, said: “This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us. We as a management team have done everything we can to try to save the iconic brands that we love.
“On behalf of us all, I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge our colleagues for their hard work and dedication. These are amazing brands and the business is full of tenacious, talented and determined people. I am confident that my colleagues, together with Deloitte, will find the best outcome for the business. They have my thanks and my best wishes.”
The Oasis and Warehouse Group, which is owned by failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, had been in talks with prospective buyers over the last few weeks. Although there is thought to have been strong interest in the group, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic is understood to have made a solvent sale impossible to conclude.
Administrators for Kaupthing launched a sale for the group, which then included Karen Millen and Coast, back in November 2016. Kaupthing then opted to withdraw from the sale process in 2017, after the only remaining bidder was Emerisque Brands, a private equity firm.