Robinson Webster Holdings is planning to either sell or close its Kew 159 retail stores in a move that will leave it to focus on its core Jigsaw business.

The company will enter a period of consultation with its shareholders, staff and other stakeholders to examine whether Kew can be sold as a going concern.

It will continue to trade during the spring/summer season and autumn/winter in a "reduced capacity". However, it will not produce a spring/summer range for 2013.

Kew was launched in September 2003. Turnover reached GBP22.1m (US$35m) in 2010 when it lost GBP300,000 on an EBITDA basis. It has annual sales of GBP20.5m, 16 standalone stores and 22 concessions, as well as an online division.

The brand was relaunched last year as Kew 159 in an attempt to restore the business.

"Kew 159 has struggled to become profitable in difficult trading conditions, and the decision follows the parent company's recent strategic review," a spokesperson said in a statement. 

The company said "some redundancies will unfortunately be inevitable" but orderly closure will allow staff to find roles in other parts of the group or elsewhere.

Robinson Webster Holdings added that trading for its Jigsaw division was up 8.6% on a like-for-like basis in the year to date.