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Coast goes into administration, 300 jobs at risk; Karen Millen buys its concessions

By Prachi Singh


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Immediately following the appointment of administrators from PwC, women’s fashion retailer Coast saw Karen Millen acquire parts of its business and certain assets which will trade primarily online and in UK concessions.

According to the PwC UK website, Coast’s premium occasion wear will now trade under Karen Millen across its various websites, concessions across the UK and Republic of Ireland and through wholesale and franchise partners saving around 600 jobs. However, BBC report said that the development also means closure of Coast’s 24 stores including its Oxford Street location in London leaving 300 workers with an uncertain future.

Karen Millen buys parts of Coast's business, but 300 jobs still at risk

Coast was owned by Aurora Fashions along with Oasis and Warehouse. Aurora is controlled by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which also owns Karen Millen. Mike Denny, Ian Green and Zelf Hussain of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of Coast Holdings Limited, Coast Retail Limited and Coast Fashions Limited.

In a statement on its website, Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC director, said: “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear. This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing. Karen Millen will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the new business.”

“Regrettably, other parts of the business including 24 retail stores were not included in the transaction. We will make every effort to help those employees in parts of the business that were not included in the sale and will support those affected at this difficult time by liaising with the Redundancy Payments Service and Job Centre Plus,” Denny added.


Karen Millen