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April 14, 2020

Oasis and Warehouse close to collapsing into administration?

British women's wear brands Oasis and Warehouse are said to be close to collapsing into administration, putting about 2,300 jobs at risk.

British women’s wear brands Oasis and Warehouse are said to be close to collapsing into administration, putting about 2,300 jobs at risk.

The Oasis and Warehouse Group is owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which last month said it was in talks to sell the businesses.

But a report by Sky News now suggests the women’s fashion chains are on the brink of appointing accountancy firm Deloitte to handle an insolvency process.

The move would follow on the heels of department store group Debenhams, which fell into administration last week; and Laura Ashley, which permanently closed 70 stores as administrators took over the company. UK-based fashion and accessories retailer Monsoon Accessorize has also said it is weighing up options to secure the business’s future.

Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, says: “The lack of distinct design handwriting at Oasis and Warehouse, coupled with fierce competition from online pureplays and Zara, alongside their exposure to the struggling department store channel, has left the brands in trouble. 

“Despite Warehouse improving its fashion credentials over the last couple of years and Oasis bolstering its marketing campaigns using celebrities such as Frankie Bridge and Katie Piper, the brands have failed to stand up against stronger players that are more front of mind amongst their target customer base. 

“As demand for clothing continues to be decimated by a lack of social occasions, we expect to see further high street casualties over the coming month.”

Preliminary forecasts by GlobalData suggest clothing and footwear are expected to be the worst hit UK retail sector this year – with spend forecast to fall by over 20%.

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