13 David Lawrence and Marcs fashion stores will close in Australia and 20 staff will lose their jobs as administrators hunt for a buyer to save the troubled retailers.
The job cuts and store closures come a fortnight after the troubled businesses were placed into voluntary administration on February 2.
Nine David Lawrence stores and four Marcs outlets were closed on February 21 and 10 full-time staff and another 10 part-time staff were made redundant.
Another 50 staff will be offered jobs in other stores and have the option of taking redundancy payouts.
Geoff Reidy, a director of administrators Rodgers Reidy, said the stores identified for closure had already been earmarked to close before his firm was appointed to see if David Lawrence and Marcs could be saved from collapse.
Potential buyers for the businesses had until February 22 to lodge their interest, there is no news yet about whether any offers have been made.
Reidy says the decision was made after a review of the businesses placed in voluntary administration.
“We continue to try to find areas for cost and revenue improvement while maintaining the core business and people as we pursue a sale of the business.”
Reidy said he was pleased with the interest expressed so far and talks were likely to continue beyond next week’s deadline.
More than 40 individuals and companies have so far expressed interest in possibly buying the fashion labels. “We’ve been buoyed by that,” Reidy said on Thursday. “The majority are local players but there are some overseas interests as well.”
In the meantime, the administrators are trying to find ways to cut costs and improve revenues for the businesses.
It is uncertain what the outlook is for the New Zealand stores and according to Reidy New Zealand should expect ‘business as usual' and, given the high profile of the brands he says he is doubtful any of the New Zealand stores will face closure.
Reidy said closing stores was difficult but it had a responsibility to all staff and creditors to make the business as attractive as possible to a potential buyer.
The fashion retailers, which are two of Australia’s best-known labels, employ about 1,130 staff in Australia and another 42 in New Zealand across their 52 stores, 11 outlets, and 140 concessions.