Australian clothing giant Jeanswest goes broke and collapses – leaving almost 1,000 employees at 146 stores in limbo
- KPMG were appointed voluntary administrators of the Australian operations
- Jeanswest opened its first store in 1972, and employs 988 people in 146 stores
- Jeanswest was ‘challenged by tough market conditions and online competition’
- Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis closed in the past year
Australian clothing giant Jeanswest has gone into voluntary administration, leaving almost 1,000 workers at 146 stores in limbo.
On Wednesday, KPMG’s Peter Gothard and James Stewart were appointed administrators of the Australian operations of the fast-fashion retailer.
Jeanswest is an iconic Australian retail brand which opened its first store in Perth in 1972, and employs 988 people in 146 stores across Australia.
The company’s operations outside of Australia won’t be impacted by the Administration.
On Wednesday, KPMG’s Peter Gothard and James Stewart were appointed voluntary administrators of the Australian operations of Jeanswest, which has 146 stores across Australia
KPMG bosses said like many other retailers, Jeanswest has been challenged by current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition
‘Jeanswest will continue to operate while the Administrators conduct an urgent analysis of the business,’ KPMG Partner Peter Gothard said.
‘The Administrators will be looking at all options for the restructure or sale of this established Australian retail business and are seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties interested in acquiring or investing in the business.’
KPMG’s retail restructuring practice leader James Stewart said like many other retailers, the business has been challenged by current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition.
Dropping like files: Some of Australia’s recent retail casualties
2016: Dick Smith, Masters hardware, Payless Shoes
2017: Topshop Australia
2018: Avon, Espirit, Toys ‘R’ Us, Max Brenner, Roger David
2019: Ed Harry, Diana Ferrari, Napoleon Perdis, Beds R Us, Ziera, Bardot, Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest
‘The Administration provides an opportunity for Jeanswest to restructure so as to better respond to the challenging Australian retail market,’ he said.
In 2017, the owner of Jeanswest claimed Australians were forking out their money for ‘lifestyle spending’ on travel and televisions, rather than buying new clothes.
He said this lead to ‘lethargic’ and ‘slothful’ retail habits.
Between 2015-2016, sales in Australia and New Zealand for Jeanswest fell 12.3 per cent to $181.5M.
Jeanswest’s voluntary administration comes amid Australia’s retail market’s dire turn.
More than 170 stores are tipped to close this year.
Household names like Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis dropped like files in the past year with dozens of stores closing resulting in heavy job losses.
Experts claim that the could be the tip of the iceberg as consumers continue to turn more to online shopping over bricks and mortar stores.
Experts have warned Bardot and Harris Scarfe are just the start of the downfall of big-name Aussie brands
Australian retail growth is at its worst level since the early 1990s recession and international giants like Amazon and Aldi threaten to further the shake up.
Entrepreneur Dick Smith believes the outlook is so bad, high-profile collapses will accelerate until there’s very little left.
‘Job losses are concerning. We have 170 retailers slated to close only two weeks into of January this year,’ he told Today.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia Mr Smith said that internet companies had driven the retail disaster.
‘We will end up with just Amazon and Aldi and basically all the Aussie companies will be sent to bankruptcy,’ he said.
‘All those famous brands will go. Some of them might exist in name only but will be taken over by overseas companies.’
Mr Smith watched the electronics chain that bore his name crash in 2016, decades after he sold it in 1980. The collapse was one of Australia’s biggest retail failures.
Harris Scarfe, founded in 1849, also took consumers by surprise when it entered administration last month and is now about to close at least 21 stores.
Household names like Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis dropped like files in the past year with dozens of stores closing and heavy job losses