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Exclusive: SecretSales relaunches via pre-pack administration

Flash Sale site SecretSales has carried out a pre-pack administration to enable its transition to a marketplace model under new owner Lifestyle Retail Group. 

The group acquired SecretSales in August and announced plans to transform the “campaign-led flash Sale company” to a multichannel off-price retailer. 

However, Lifestyle Retail was unable to secure funding to “smoothly transition” as a result of “unexpected current economic conditions”. Subsequently, SecretSales undertook a pre-pack administration yesterday to enable an immediate transition to the new marketplace model. 

A spokesman said: “Some staff have unfortunately been affected and have been informed, and the last remaining founder has exited the business.”

Drapers revealed earlier this month that SecretSales had axed 11 roles across its headquarters in London and in its two remote offices. A further seven jobs have been cut across the buying, digital and logistics teams. 

The redundancies are thought to account for around 25% of the company’s total headcount. 

Drapers understands that several suppliers are also owed thousands of pounds for stock delivered before the start of this year. 

The SecretSales spokesman added: “Legacy suppliers will be paid through the administration process as the remaining stock and assets are liquidated. Marketplace customers and suppliers are unaffected.”

SecretSales is now led by Lifestyle Retail Group CEO Chris Griffin, former director of ecommerce at Superdry, and co-founder Matt Purt, former head of new business partnerships at Ebay. The company was founded in 2007 by Nish and Sach Kukadia, both of whom have now left.

Customers with outstanding orders from legacy suppliers have been contacted and will be reimbursed via chargeback. 

The relaunched model will comprise a new marketplace, individual brand digital storefronts, consignment, wholesale and physical pop-up shops across the European Union. The marketplace currently has 50 brands, and a further 50 are expected to join in the coming weeks. 

Brands will launch and control their own digital storefronts, which the group hopes will better present individual brands and enhance the customer experience. 

Griffin told Drapers: “I’ve never been a fan of the flash Sales business model. I think it’s not a good customer experience. The days of long lead times and fragmented stock are in the past, so it was my vision to operate a mid-to-high-end marketplace for fashion.”

 

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • Why were stock orders knowingly placed with suppliers when Griffin was ‘... never a fan of flash sales ...’!
    Surely placing orders and receiving goods knowing your strategy is changing is fraudulent ??

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  • Going into administration to avoid paying suppliers and staff who they owe money??

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