Nine David Lawrence and four Marcs stores will shut next week, resulting in 20 job losses as administrators look to improve profitability ahead of a possible sale of the brands.
Administrator Geoff Reidy said the decision to close 13 stores across the network was a “difficult decision”, but one that was made to ensure the brands were as attractive as possible to buyers.
Fifty other employees at other stores will have the opportunity to discuss redundancies, according to reports.
At the time administrators were appointed, the Marcs and David Lawrence brands employed more than 1100 staff across Australia and New Zealand. The brands were operating 52 standalone stores, along with 11 outlet stores and 140 concessions contained within larger department stores, including David Jones and Myer.
Retail experts have told SmartCompany the brands faced tough conditions, particularly in suburban shopping centres as discount fashion retailers moved away from flagship stores in Australian cities and into smaller shopping malls.
“If we look at those mid-tier fashion retailers, they’re not cheap, they’re sitting in the middle, but they’d normally put themselves in suburban shopping centres. When a shopper goes shopping for fashion in a shopping centre, they go, ‘well, now I’ve also got a very big H&M’,” said Dr Gary Mortimer, associate professor at Queensland University of Technology Business School.