National retail chain Jeanswest has collapsed, risking the jobs of 988 employees at its 146 stores across Australia.
KPMG Administrators Peter Gothard and James Steward were on Wednesday appointed as voluntary administrators of Jeanswest Corporation.
“Jeanswest will continue to operate while the administrators conduct an urgent analysis of the business,” Mr Gothard said in a statement.
“The administrators will be looking at all options for the restructure or sale of this established Australian retail business and are seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties interested in acquiring or investing in the business.”
Since opening its first store in 1972, Jeanswest has become a familiar brand across Australia selling denim and casual apparel.
The chain is currently owned and operated by private Hong Kong company Howsea Limited.
“Jeanswest is an iconic Australian denim brand, well known in the leisure and casual wear market place,” James Stewart said the KPMG statement.
“Like many other retailers, the business has been challenged by current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition,” he said.
“The administration provides an opportunity for Jeanswest to restructure so as to better respond to the challenging Australian retail market.”
KPMG Administrators are seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties interested in buying or investing in the Jeanswest business.
Jeanswest follows a string of retailers in financial trouble already this year.
Department store chain Harris Scarfe on January 10 announced it would cut 440 jobs and close 21 stores as part of the receivership process it announced before Christmas.
A few days later, one of Australia’s first wine families, McWilliam’s, called in KMPG to find a buyer after declining business performance saw the company fall into administration.
Then, on Thursday, fashion retailer Bardot announced it would shut 58 stores and make 530 workers redundant, with chief executive Basil Artemides claiming “an increasingly discount-driven market” had forced the company’s hand.