Women’s fashion retailer Brown Sugar needs saving a second time as owner placed in administration

Women’s fashion retailer Brown Sugar is in trouble once again, just two years after the fashion brand first collapsed, with the company’s owner now being placed in administration.

Brand Directions confirmed with SmartCompany this morning the business, which purchased Brown Sugar out of administration back in 2011, has now been placed in administration itself.

Brand Directions director Winfred Fan told SmartCompany the women’s fashion chain has been placed in administration, although stores continue to trade, saying it’s “business as usual”.

There will be store closures, but the precise number is yet to be determined. Fan has also confirmed there will be job losses.

Robyn-Lee Erskine from Brooke Bird & Co has now been appointed as administrator to the company. ASIC filings indicate the company was placed in administration on March 28. The company was contacted by SmartCompany, but there was no response prior to publication.

Brand Directions is expected to release a statement later this week.

In August 2011, the retailer was first placed in administration, with administrators saying it had been subject to a number of management changes since 2009.

In May 2012, David Mullen, the previous director of Brand Directions, resigned after a disagreement with the owners of Brown Sugar about the future of the retailer. Mullen was credited with the revival of the brand following its original administration, but was replaced by Fan.

At the time, Mullen wrote to suppliers informing them of the changeover.

“Unfortunately, over the past few weeks it has become apparent that we have significantly different strategic approaches with regards to the future growth of the Brown Sugar business.

“As their approach differs from my own belief of what is required to restore the brand, I have decided to resign as managing director, effective immediately,” he says.

Fan told SmartCompany previously that Mullen had quit because he wanted to rollout 15 to 20 stores over the next two to three years, but Fan didn’t believe the brand was ready for that degree of expansion.

The original collapse of Brown Sugar came alongside several collapses in the boutique fashion industry.

 

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