Collapsed fashion retailer Bardot will shutter 56 stores across the country in the coming months after administrators determined the chain must downsize to remain in business.
The women’s clothing retailer, which fell into voluntary administration late last year, becomes the second major retailer to announce widespread store closures in the space of a week, following Harris Scarfe’s decision to close 21 locations.
The business will retain just 14 of stores in NSW and Victoria under current plans, slated to be completed by March 1. Two stores were closed in December.
“Subject to ongoing trading performance and discussions with landlords, it is not our intention to close further stores at this point in time,” KPMG administrator Brendan Richards said in a statement circulated on Thursday.
Administrators are still trying to sell the business, and it is hoped the downsizing will make the company a more attractive purchase.
A total 530 staff will be sacked as part of the downsizing, leaving just a fraction of the 800 workers who were employed by the business prior to the administration.
Hundreds of retail staff lost their jobs earlier this week when receivers for collapsed department store Harris Scarfe announced 21 store closures, nearly a third of its 66-store network.
Deloitte Restructuring Services partner Vaughan Strawbridge said earlier this week the Harris Scarfe closures were a “difficult” but “necessary” decision.
These are just the latest casualties of difficult retail conditions in Australia over the past decade, as the flailing sector struggles with unprecedented disruption from online shopping, international competition and rising rents.
The announced store closures so early in the year may indicate a slow Christmas trading period, but official data on December trading won’t be available until early February.