Written on the 2 February 2017 by Business News Australia

FASHION retailers Marcs and David Lawrence have been placed into voluntary administration.

The brands are owned by Sydney-based Webster Holdings and Webster Asset and the companies' director, Malcolm Webster, says the action was necessary due to deteriorating sales, general market conditions and poor cash flow.

Marcs and David Lawrence have 52 stand-alone stores, 11 outlets and more than 140 concession stores operating out of Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia, the companies employ around 1,130 staff with 640 employed on a casual basis, 260 full time and 230 part time. There are 10 stores in New Zealand employing 42 staff.

The staff have been paid up to the end of January and superannuation has been paid up until 31 December 2016.

It is 'business as usual' at the retailers as administrator Rodgers Reidy searches for a buyer and the staff will be informed of their role within the company by their line managers.

Geoffrey Reidy, Director of Rodgers Reidy says, "We intend to review the operations of the businesses and continue to trade while we market the businesses for sale."

All staff at the retailers will be told their fate by their line managers.

Webster is a veteran of the fashion industry, having founded Jigsaw in the UK alongside Peter Ruis in 1972.

He brought the Jigsaw brand to Australia in 1991, but in March last year the UK head office took back control of the brand.

All the Australian Jigsaw stores closed in early 2016, but stores in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne reopened under the new management in March.

Webster Holdings bought David Lawrence from the Truworth South Africa Group in 2000 and bought Marcs from Oroton Group in 2006.

According to the Webster Holdings website, it was in the process of growing the brands by seeking organic and geographic growth of both the Marcs and David Lawrence brands.

All existing gift cards and returns will be handled in accordance with the Companies' existing policies.

The administrators will issue a further announcement as to the date and time of the first meeting of creditors.

Webster Holdings follows a string of other retailers that have entered voluntary administration recently including Payless Shoes, Pumpkin Patch, Howards Storage World, and Dick Smith's.

Business News Australia
Author: Business News Australia





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