Troubled Topshop NZ goes into receivership

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 September 2017, 12:28PM
Shoppers at Topshop, Topman on Queen St in Auckland (Chris Gorman)
Shoppers at Topshop, Topman on Queen St in Auckland (Chris Gorman)

Troubled retailer Topshop New Zealand has gone into receivership.

The directors say they have put their hearts and souls into the business, and left no stone unturned in trying to find a solution.

However they say they have no alternative but to call in the receivers.

The directors say they will work closely with receivers to ensure the best possible outcome for the business and employees.

Directors Mary Devine, Gary Hitchcock, Karen Walker and James Whiting ran the rule over the business's ability to keep trading in an environment of heightened competition after the Australian Topshop operations were placed into voluntary administration over similar issues.

The prospect of losses made it apparent the company couldn't keep trading, the receivers said.

"We have put our hearts and souls into this business, we have the best staff, great store locations, and the directors have left no stone unturned in trying to find a solution," the directors said in a separate statement.

"It is with regret that the directors had no alternative but to request the secured lender to appoint receivers. We will work closely with the receivers to ensure the best possible outcome for the business and employees."

The receivership is the latest in a line of retailers struggling to make a traditional bricks-and-mortar model work when online rivals avoid the overhead of a high street site and are accused of skirting customs duties that traditional vendors face.

Top Retailer launched the popular UK brand in New Zealand in 2014, with Kiwi clothing firm Barkers, Christchurch property investor Philip Carter and fashion designer Karen Walker taking the rights to own, develop and operate the brand locally.

So far it's opened a store on Auckland's Queen St and one on Wellington's Lambton Quay.

"Both the Wellington and Auckland stores will continue to trade while the receivers work with the directors, management and staff to assess options for the company," Mr McElhinney said.

Additional reporting by Paul McBeth 

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