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Alice McCall collapses into voluntary administration, stores to close

Australian fashion house Alice McCall has fallen into voluntary administration, a victim of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the industry at large.

SVP Partners has been appointed administrators, and is seeking to shut a number of Alice McCall stores and offer some staff redundancies in order to give the company the best chance of survival.

Founder Alice McCall said the decision was made based on the impact of the pandemic, as well as some unsustainable bricks-and-mortar rental obligations.

“I have had to make a necessary decision to edit down my business with the objective of building a more sustainable business model for the future,” McCall said in a statement.

“I pride myself on being ethical, honest and transparent in business, and because of this I have had on majority a fantastic, long-lasting and committed team. This is a doctrine that I live by, and through this process of change in my business, this I believe will only get stronger.”

Administrator Ian Purchas, of SVP Partners, acknowledged the decision must have been difficult for McCall, who started the fashion firm 17 years ago, but that in doing so she has acted as a responsible director.

“Unfortunately, [this] will require the closure of a number of stores and the redundancy of some employees,” Purchas said.

“Like most of the Australian retail sector, in particular fashion, the company’s revenues [have] been severely impacted by Covid-19. [With] the support of the company’s team and creditors, it will emerge from the administration a more resilient business which will continue to provide quality fashion garments.”

McCall told Inside Retail earlier this year that, as the pandemic’s impact on the fashion industry had emerged, she had devoted herself to getting the balance right between keeping a solid foundation in the business, as well as continuing to innovate.

“Stabilisation is more important than ever, but at the same time so is innovation,” McCall said.

“I’ve had a strong focus on business strategies on the digital platform and maximising these opportunities to increase brand awareness, exposure and revenue this year.”

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