Luxury clothing company Herringbone collapses amid retail carnage

Sydney-based clothing retailer Herringbone – whose finely-tailored shirts were a favourite of investment bankers and corporate high-flyers – has slumped into voluntary administration, blaming the savage retail downturn.

The crisis sweeping the offices of Australia’s investment banks has claimed another victim.

Sydney-based clothing retailer Herringbone – whose finely-tailored shirts were a favourite of investment bankers and corporate high-flyers – has slumped into voluntary administration, blaming the savage retail downturn.

“In a nutshell, the trading environment’s very difficult and we’ve really seen discretionary spending come off, and we’ve also seen a lot of currency issues around the dollar coming down,” Herringbone’s managing director Matt Jensen told The Australian Financial Review.

The company has 13 retail outlets across NSW, the Australian Capital Territiry, Queensland and Victoria.

The administrator, Martin Green from BRI Ferrier, says sales are down around 23% in the past two months.

Herringbone will try to trade through its problems, but Green says the company will need the support of its bankers to do so. The amount owed to creditors is not yet known.

Green will continue to look for a buyer for the company or for an investor willing to recapitalise the business.

Herringbone’s collapse comes as clothing giant Pacific Brands – home to iconic brands such as Bonds, King Gree and Holeproof – warned the deteriorating retail environment may force it to cut its dividends.

The company’ shares fell to a record low of 58.5c

Meanwhile, retail veteran Gerry Harvey has warned that Harvey Norman may be forced to close between five and 10 stores over the next six months.

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