Administrators drop Topshops

Topshot NZMore than half Australia’s Topshop and Topman stores have closed and 370 jobs have been axed as administrators continue to restructure the struggling fashion retailer.

Administrator Ferrier Hodgson on Friday confirmed five of the UK-based brand’s nine Australian stores have shut, including the flagship unit on Melbourne’s Chapel Street.

The closures resulted in 335 staff, the majority of them casual employees, losing their jobs, while another 35 roles have been cut at the company’s headquarters.

Ferrier Hodgson was appointed voluntary administrators to Austradia, which operates the brand’s Australian stores, in May.

A Ferrier Hodgson spokesperson said the remaining four stores will keep trading as usual as it continues its negotiations with the UK brand’s owner, the Arcadia Group.

“The priority for administrators remains to develop an appropriate operating model and structure that will continue the Topshop/Topman brand in Australia,” he said.

Myer would not comment on media reports it has closed Topshop concessions in 17 stores.

The department store chain purchased a 25 per cent stake in Austradia in 2015, which was diluted to 20 per cent in 2016.

Topshop is just one of several retailers to have come under severe pressure as consumers grapple with weak wage growth and increased household debt.

Herringbone and stablemate Rhodes and Beckett also fell into voluntary administration this year, while Oroton – which operates the GAP chain in Australia – flagged in May an 85 per cent drop in full-year earnings.

Myer also said in May it is monitoring the performance of Sass & Bide after a fall in sales for the luxury women’s fashion label played a big part in its third quarter sales slump.

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