Tailor Austin Reed set to collapse into administration


Retail chain Austin Reed is poised to formally collapse into administration, putting about 1,000 high-street jobs at risk just a day after BHS hit the rocks.

It is understood the tailor will appoint Alix Partners after revealing a notice to appoint advisers to handle an administration late last week.

The move will deal another blow to Britain's high street following the administration of BHS on Monday, which has put 11,000 jobs under threat and threatened the closure of up to 164 stores in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths went under in 2008.

Austin Reed, which was founded 116 years ago, has suffered years of falling sales as it has failed to attract younger shoppers.

Austin Reed, whose famous clients include International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, has been put on the sale block in recent weeks but has reportedly been unable to find a buyer.

It is expected the chain, which has about 155 shops, will continue trading after appointing administrators while a rescue deal is sought, with gift vouchers also set to be accepted in full.

Austin Reed agreed to offload 31 outlets after securing a company voluntary arrangement with its creditors in February 2015.

The group also last year received financial backing from Alteri Investors, a specialist retail vehicle, which now controls the group.

It is thought Alteri may look to buy Austin Reed from administrators while Better Capital, the private equity firm which already owns fashion chain Jaeger, is also said to be among possible suitors to rescue Austin Reed, according to Sky News.

But a raft of loss-making shops are expected to close even after a rescue deal.