Retail

Almost 500 jobs gone as Ed Harry becomes the second major menswear chain to shut down in recent months

Matthew Elmas /

Ed Harry will become the second national menswear chain to shut down in recent months after administrators from KPMG failed to find a buyer for the business.

Almost 500 staff will lose their jobs in the shutdown, which will occur over the next six-eight weeks after remaining stock is sold and the company’s 87 stores are shuttered.

Ed Harry fell into administration earlier this month after a lackluster Christmas period, with managing director David Clark blaming competition for the brand’s downfall.

KPMG’s Brendan Richards said no viable offers for the business were received, a similar situation to Roger David, which shut down last November after being unable to find a buyer.

“Unfortunately and despite having run a comprehensive sale-of-business campaign, there have been no viable offers received for the ongoing operations of the company,” Richards said in a statement.

“There has been limited interest from the market in the business as a going concern.”

Ed Harry owes over $10 million to creditors, including $5.3 million to more than 100 trade partners. Employees are owed $1.25 million, while 33 separate landlords have claimed $2.4 million.

The closure underscores the stakes in Australia’s menswear category at the moment, with retailers across the industry struggling with weak retail conditions and the costs of commercial rent.

Experts expect more retail administrations to come in the next few months as businesses come to terms with difficult Christmas trading and a slow start to 2019.

Only last week cosmetics business Napoleon Perdis was forced to appoint administrators, although the administrators of that business are confident they can secure a sale.

In a statement distributed by KPMG, Ed Harry managing director David Clark thanked customers and employees.

“Our team members and our customers have been incredibly supportive and on behalf of the directors I just want to say thank you, this is a sad time for all those who have put so much into our business,” he said.

NOW READ: Warnings of more retail death as menswear retailer Ed Harry collapses, putting 498 jobs at risk

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].

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