Marcs, David Lawrence to close NZ stores

marcsMarcs and David Lawrence fashion stores in New Zealand will close and 44 staff will lose their jobs while administrators are still trying to find a buyer for the retailer’s remaining Australian stores.

The high street fashion retailer has already closed 13 stores in Australia after going into voluntary administration on February 1.

Administrator Rodgers Reidy announced on Thursday that Marcs and David Lawrence’s New Zealand business, a total of 10 stores, will shut down over the next two months while the future of the group’s remaining Australian stores still hangs in the balance.

“Both brands have been operating in New Zealand for more than ten years,” said Andrew Barnden, administrator and director of Rodgers Reidy.

“As administrators, we have an obligation to restructure the operations of the Australian and New Zealand businesses while we attempt to sell the business as a going concern,” he said.

“Whilst the New Zealand stores of Marcs and David Lawrence are closing permanently, we are dealing with interested parties with respect to the sale of the Australian businesses and are continuing to trade 177 Marcs and David Lawrence stores.

“No decision has yet been made on the Australian arm of the businesses”.

The fashion retailers, which are two of Australia’s best-known labels, employ about 1130 staff in Australia and another 42 in New Zealand across their 52 stores, 11 outlets and 140 concessions.

When the businesses were placed in administration earlier last month the sole director of the companies behind the labels, Malcolm Webster, blamed deteriorating sales, poor cash flow and market conditions.

David Lawrence and Marcs are among a string of retailers hit by tough times in the Australian retail market.

Rhodes and Beckett, and Herringbone were placed in voluntary administration last week, leaving the futures of about 140 workers in doubt.

Payless Shoes and Howards Storage World appointed administrators two months ago, while children’s retailer Pumpkin Patch entered receivership last October.

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