Darrell Lea placed in administration as competitors steal market share

The trend towards high-end chocolatiers and chocolate cafés has finally got the better of industry stalwart Darrell Lea, which has been placed in voluntary administration after nearly 85 years.


Darrell Lea, which makes and sells chocolate and other confectioneries, was founded in 1927 and employs about 700 staff through its manufacturing and retail divisions.


It also sells other products in confectionery stores worldwide.


However, the company has struggled to stand out amidst the rise of chocolatiers and chocolate cafés such as Haigh’s Chocolates, Max Brenner, Gânache Chocolate, and Theobroma.


PPB Advisory confirmed it has appointed Mark Robinson, Jack Bournelis and Daniel Walley as administrators of Darrell Lea.


This comes after the directors of the company became worried the business could not meet its financial obligations.


“We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Darrell Lea for sale as a going concern,” Robinson said in a statement.


“The owners of the business have agreed to provide some short-term financial support whilst we undertake this process.”


“We will work with all stakeholders including employees and their representatives, licensees, customers and suppliers to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.”


PPB said it will update any stakeholders if any developments occur.


Darrell Lea is the second major retail collapse this year. Video game chain Game collapsed back in April, and eventually ceased trading this past weekend, with more than 500 jobs lost.


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.


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