Menswear retailer Ed Harry enters voluntary administration

Struggling menswear chain Ed Harry has been placed in voluntary administration following poor Christmas sales, putting about 500 jobs at risk.

Accounting firm KPMG’s Brendan Richards and Gayle Dickerson have been appointed voluntary administrators.

Ed Harry, which was established in 1993 and relaunched in 2011, operates 87 stores across all Australian mainland states and territories and employs 498 staff. The head office is based in Hindmarsh in Adelaide, South Australia.

“Like many other Australian retailers, after a strong period of growth, it has faced a challenging environment over the past 12 months – and a particularly tough Christmas sales period,” Richards said.

“It has also become clear that shopping centre footfall has been significantly weaker than expected.”

The retailer’s managing director David Clark said competition both in local bricks-and-mortar and online has been fierce in the retail sector for some time now.

“While this was to be expected, the directors had been exploring options for funding to enable Ed Harry to continue to compete and grow, however to this point have been unsuccessful,” Clark said.

According to Ed Harry, the administrators will be exploring all possible options, including a trade sale.

The business will immediately embark on a clearance sale of existing merchandise to maximise options for the business. Gift cards will be honored for one month on a dollar-for-dollar basis only.

With the support of Ed Harry’s employees and key stakeholders, the company said store trading will continue as normal while the administrators undertake an immediate assessment of business.

The first meeting of creditors of the company will be held in Adelaide on January 24.

The news follows the closure of a string of Australian retailers recently, including Crabtree & Evelyn, Laura Ashley and Roger David.

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