Karen Millen shutting down its Australian arm

Administrators have been appointed to wind down the Australian arm of Karen Millen, after the business fell into administration in Britain last month.

The UK fashion brand, which turned over approximately $19 million in Australia last year, operates seven independent stores and eight concessions in David Jones and Myer department stores.

Deloitte partners Richard Hughes, Tim Norman and Michael Billingsley, who have been appointed joint and several administrators, said they would conduct a controlled wind-down of the business in the coming weeks.

Approximately 80 employees, many of them casuals, will be impacted by the closure.

“If quick, shoppers can expect some bargains with discounted stock being sold from stores and online until the end of this month,” administrators said in a statement.

The local shut-down follows the collapse of Karen Millen in the UK last month. Administrators there are in the process of closing more than 200 bricks-and-mortar stores, putting at risk more than 11000 jobs. Head office staff have already been made redundant.

Karen Millen’s online business was bought by global e-commerce fashion giant Boohoo for £18 million, a move that left some scratching their heads.

“I don’t get it,” the CEO of an upmarket fashion retailer told the Financial Times, contrasting Karen Millen’s relatively high-priced garments with the £5 fast fashion items sold by Boohoo.

Boohoo has a local online presence in Australia. It is unclear whether it will launch a local online presence for Karen Millen going forward.

Karen Millen has stores in:

  • DFO South Wharf, VIC
  • Emporium, VIC
  • Chadstone, VIC
  • Doncaster, VIC
  • QVB, NSW
  • Chatswood Chase, NSW
  • Burnside Village, SA
  • David Jones concessions in Sydney and Melbourne CBDs
  • Myer concessions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane CBDs, Bondi, Chadstone and Perth

Customers holding gift cards or who are members of loyalty programs will have their benefits honoured. Administrators advise those consumers to refer to the Customer FAQ section of the Karen Millen website for further details.

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