The fashion group behind Jacques Vert and other womenswear brands has gone into administration, putting around 1,000 jobs at risk.
Calvetron Brands, which also owns Precis, Windsmoor, Eastex, and Dash, has called in Duff & Phelps as administrators.
Benjamin Wiles of Duff & Phelps said that around 300 store concessions would be affected. ‘These stores include Debenhams, House of Fraser, and M&Co, as well as some independent store concessions,’ he said.
High street doom: Calvetron’s collapse is the latest of many recent High Street casualties
‘We are continuing to trade the company while reviewing the options to sell the business as a going concern. It employs a total of 1,408 people – 997 in the UK, 155 in Ireland and 256 in Canada.’
The Calvetron Brands chief executive Peter Ridler said that ‘a combination of four brands that needed time and investment, against a backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions on the high street, rising costs and low customer confidence has meant that we haven’t been able to achieve this within the timescales required’.
The group was previously called Style Group Brands, but went into pre-pack administration in June last year, when it was snapped up by a consortium of private investors called CBL – which was advised until recently by Harold Tilman, the former owner of fashion label Jaeger.
At that point seven concessions in Belgium closed, and 17 UK stores were shut, but a significant number of jobs were saved.
Its collapse is the latest in a string of High Street casualties. Earlier this week,fashion retailer Bench called in administrators, putting nearly 350 jobs at risk.
Meanwhile, House of Fraser confirmed it was going to landlords to seek approval for a programme of store closures through a so-called Company Voluntary Agreement.
It is not yet known how many stores will close, or how many jobs will be affected, with the proposal due in June.
Toys R Us, Maplin and Warren Evans have also fallen into administration, resulting in thousands of jobs losses.
Philip Duffy of Duff & Phelps said that inflation and wage freezes have been major concerns for many fashion retailers and have been a driving force behind decreased spending.
‘However, CBL has also been carrying a number of legacy issues dating back to the acquisition of the assets and business of SGBL resulting in a high cost base relative to its turnover,’ he added.
‘In the difficult retail environment we are facing today CBL simply could not restructure its cost base quickly enough or create the necessary economies of scale to succeed.’