Popular brand Colette to close 100 stores
Accessories retailer Colette by Colette Hayman has been saved from collapsing however 100 of its stores are set to close.
Seven months after it went into voluntary administration, a buyer has been found for the brand in former Myer CEO Bernie Brookes, who will own 90 per cent of the business. The other 10 per cent is owned by a silent buyer.
The Colette store network included 37 branches in NSW, 33 in Victoria, 30 in Queensland, 15 in Western Australia, six in South Australia, three in the ACT, one in Tasmania and one in the Northern Territory as well as 14 in New Zealand, meaning only 25 physical locations will remain.
One-third of the company's 300 permanent staff will keep their jobs, with 200 casual positions also retained.
Administrator Sam Marsden from Deloitte said the business would be run in a more "streamlined" way, adding hundreds of livelihoods had been saved.
"We are very pleased to have secured the future of this business and jobs for close to 300 employees, including nearly 100 permanent roles," Mr Marsden said.
"The sale of the business to a group of experienced retail investors represents a significant achievement in the current environment, and reflects the strength of the brand and the commitment of the group's employees to its future."
The company behind the popular jewellery and accessories chain - the CBCH group of companies - was placed into voluntary administration in late January.
Deloitte Restructuring Services partners Vaughan Strawbridge, Sam Marsden and Jason Tracy were appointed administrators, and in a statement at the time, Mr Strawbridge said Australia's dire retail climate was largely to blame for the business's failure.
"Colette By Colette Hayman has, unfortunately, been impacted by the current weak retail environment, as have many others," Mr Strawbridge said.
"Our focus is on continuing to trade the business while we seek either a recapitalisation of the group or a sale of the business.
"Given the strength of the brand we are confident we will be able to secure a future for the business and preserve the employment of as many people as possible."
The brand was founded by designer Colette Hayman - known as the "Queen of Handbags"- in Australia in 2010.
Ms Hayman and her husband Mark also launched budget-friendly jewellery chain Diva before selling up back in 2007, three years before the Colette chain entered the market.
Over the years, it exploded to become Australia's biggest handbag empire, with around 180 stores across four countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ms Hayman's native South Africa.
Originally published as Popular brand Colette to close 100 stores