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Oasis and Warehouse Group to cease trading

The Oasis and Warehouse Group will close its website and all stores and concessions after administrators failed to find a buyer, resulting in 1,803 redundancies. 

The joint administrators of the group, which includes Oasis, Warehouse and The Idle Man, confirmed they have been unable to rescue any part of the business “as a going concern”, blaming the “extraordinary challenges” of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

Certain stock and intellectual property assets associated with the group have been sold to investment and advisory firm Hilco Capital, the former owner of record store HMV. 

Rob Harding and Richard of accountancy firm Deloitte were appointed as joint administrators to Oasis and Warehouse Group on 15 April.

At the time of appointment, the business operated from 92 branches across the group’s leasehold stores, and 437 concessions located in third party retailers.

Following their appointment, the joint administrators carried out a “rapid assessment” of the costs associated with maintaining the business in the short term. This was to allow sufficient time to sell the business and/or reopen the stores after the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, on Wednesday 22 April the decision was made to temporarily stop online trading as a result of rising costs of fulfilling online orders and associated logistical challenges.

As a result of this, and as it became clear that a sale of any part of the business as a going concern would not be possible, the decision was taken to accelerate a sale of some of the group’s assets.

Meanwhile, the High Court has appointed provisional liquidators to the Irish arm of the group, which comprises 11 stores and around 29 concessions.

Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “Covid-19 has presented extraordinary challenges which have devastated the retail industry. It is with great sadness that we have to announce a sale of the business has not been possible and that we are announcing so many redundancies today. This is a very difficult time for the group’s employees and other key stakeholders and we will do everything we can to support them through this.

“We would like to thank all the employees and other key stakeholders in the group for their continued support.”

Earlier this week Drapers revealed that Oasis and Warehouse Group chief executive Hash has stepped down as part of the company’s administration process. 

Group chief product officer Stewart also left the business at the time of administration



Readers' comments (3)

  • Will the sale to Hilco cover the administrators costs ?

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  • Don McCarthy's legacy continues. With the trail of failure that man has left behind him while getting very rich, it's incredible that he is viewed as such a 'legend' of the industry.

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  • So very sorry to learn about Oasis and Warehouse. Unfortunately there are many like Don McCarthy in this industry. Lets hope sincerely that some bright and innovative people can get the opportunity that Covid19 will inevitably bring to unlock the stranglehold that a greedy few have had on UK retail and make it work for all. There is so much untapped talent available but it needs to be managed by fresh thinkers not mid century dinosaurs whose main prerogative is personal gain and greed (remind you of anyone?!).

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