In a shock announcement today, the receivers of Top Retail have announced that Topshop and Topman stores in Auckland and Wellington will be closing by this Sunday, 1 October 2017.
Receivers Conor McElhinney and Kare Johnstone of McGrathNicol have commented: "It is with regret that we have had to inform staff today that the business is unable to continue trading and that Topshop and Topman will no longer have a presence in New Zealand from Sunday. We would like to thank the directors of Top Retail for their support, which has enabled gift cards to be redeemed during the receivership trading period, and staff for their commitment since our appointment”.
The announcement was made after conducting a detailed assessment of the business, and concluding a sale process for the business and assets in whole or in part. A closing-down sale campaign is about to commence, which may result in earlier closure for the stores if they run out of stock.
Topshop was the first major foreign fast fashion giant to enter New Zealand in recent years. Kiwi designer Karen Walker and her husband Mikhail Gherman partnered with Barkers managing director Jamie Whiting and rich-lister Philip Carter to form Top Retail in 2014. The company secured the rights to own, develop and operate the brand across New Zealand.
The opening of Topshop's Auckland flagship in 2015 generated massive consumer excitement, with eager shoppers queuing from 6pm the night before to secure their place in a line that reached to the bottom of Queen St. Topshop's Wellington store was received with similar enthusiasm in November 2016, and a Christchurch store was also on the cards.
However, by May 2017, trouble was brewing, and its Australian stores were placed into voluntary administration following a decision to restructure. On September 7, Topshop and Topman New Zealand franchise business was tipped into receivership.