National accessory chain Colette by Colette Hayman collapses

Colette by Colette Hayman

Handbag and accessories chain Colette By Colette Hayman has collapsed into voluntary administration.

In what is just the latest national retailer to fall over this year, CBCH Group, which trades under the Colette Hayman banner, appointed Vaughan Strawbridge, Sam Marsden and Jason Tracy of Deloitte Restructuring Services on Tuesday.

The business, which is split across five separate companies, has 140 stores across Australia and New Zealand and more than 300 staff.

Booking about $140 million in gross annual sales, CBCH Group has become just the latest high profile example of Australia’s retail reckoning.

Others, including department store Harris Scarfe, fashion chain Jeanswest and Co-op Bookshops have also collapsed in recent months as a difficult consumer environment compounds with rising commercial rents and international competition.

“Colette By Colette Hayman has, unfortunately, been impacted by the current weak retail environment, as have many others,” Strawbridge said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our focus is on continuing to trade the business while we seek either a recapitalisation of the group or a sale of the business.

“Given the strength of the brand we are confident we will be able to secure a future for the business and preserve the employment of as many people as possible.”

Strawbridge said he was “confident” there were sufficient assets to meet all employee entitlements, while gift cards will also continue to be honored.

Founded in 2010 by husband-and-wife duo Colette and Mark Hayman, the eponymous chain built a national presence over the last decade selling affordable handbags, jewellery and other accessories inspired by high-end fashion trends.

There are currently 126 Colette Hayman stores trading in Australia and 14 in New Zealand.

A first meeting of creditors is scheduled for 12 February.

More to come…

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