Jobs at risk as Tigerlily collapses into administration

Tigerlily

Swimwear retailer Tigerlily has collapsed into voluntary administration as the woes for Australia’s retail sector continue, compounded by fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The specialty retail chain, which trades 30 stores across Australia, appointed administrators from KordaMentha on Monday in the wake of confusion about restrictions on business trading between states and the federal government.

In a statement circulated Monday afternoon, KordaMentha restructuring agents Scott Langdon and Jenny Nettleton said the business decided to appoint administrators after considering the current state of the retail industry.

Administrators said the COVID-19 pandemic was “significantly inhibiting” the day-to-day operations of the retail chain.

“A sale of business process will commence immediately and we expect a high level of interest in the business given the strong brand and its reputation,” Langdon said.

Tigerlily will continue to trade on a “limited basis” through the administration, with no further detail provided about pending store closures or the number of workers employed by the company.

Founded by model Jodhi Meares in 2000, the so-called ‘boho swimwear brand’ has wholesale deals with a range of prominent Australian retailers in addition to its own store network.

The business was most recently owned by private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners, having been sold by surfwear giant Billabong for $60 million in 2017.

Tigerlily is understood to have been struggling financially for some time, having undertaken a wholesale rebrand that saw it wipe its entire social media history clean last November.

The move was billed as a new start for the business, but as recently as a few months ago The Australian reported those plans had hit the rocks, with chief executive Chris Buchanan and chief financial officer Steven Hill leaving the business.

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