PAS Group could shutter underperforming stores in restructure

After entering a trading halt on Friday afternoon, fashion firm PAS Group has outlined restructure efforts that could see additional stores shuttered and a more pronounced focus on online.

PAS Group holds a number of brands in its stable across several parts of the fashion industry – such as Review, Black Pepper, Jets, White Runway, Yarra Trail, Marco Polo, and Bondi Bather. Across those brands, the group sells across department stores, specialty retailers, and approximately 800 independent stores.

And while the group has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by way of having closed its stores in Australia and New Zealand, it has also been hit by the closure of department store Myer – with which it has an exclusive partnership.

As a result, the business announced in a message to shareholders on Monday morning PAS Group will be accelerating a previously outlined review of its operations to “reduce complexity and create a more focused business”.

“The board and management are continuing to assess the potential restructuring options with the assistance of their advisors, though the precise nature and detail of the restructure has not yet been finalised,” PAS Group said.

“It is likely that the restructure will involve a further reduction of retail stores and a significantly reduced fixed cost base.”

During FY19, PAS Group exited 42 stores and signaled a desire to focus on more profitable locations and the company’s growing online presence.

It isn’t clear what this means for employees or which stores may be shuttered. Inside Retail has reached out for additional information. 

Additionally, board members and chief executive Eric Morris will forgo half of their salary and directors’ fees for the period between 1 April and 30 June. Designworks managing director Brendan Santamaria has resigned, with Morris to assume the role in addition to his regular duties.

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