Antler crashes into administration

Gone bust: Antler was 'profoundly impacted' by store closures and travelling coming to a halt
  • 164 of its 199 employees have already been made redundant, KPMG said
  • Antler expected to shut down its 18 stores
  • KPMG plans to trade the business in administration through online channels

Suitcase maker Antler has gone into administration after sales were hit hard by store closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The 106-year old brand, which operates 18 stores and one concession and whose suitcases are stocked in large chains like John Lewis and Selfridges, has already made 164 of its 199 employees redundant, administrators from KPMG said.

They said the company was doing well before the coronavirus crisis but was ‘profoundly impacted’ by store closures and travelling coming to a halt. 

Gone bust: Antler was ‘profoundly impacted’ by store closures and travelling coming to a halt

The administration comes after a raft of other retail brands, including Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley, have been forced into insolvency during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Antler was bought by fashion tycoon Michael Lewis in February from private equity company Endless.      

Antler had furloughed most of its employees since the beginning of the lockdown. 

KPMG partner and joint administrator Will Wright said: ‘Like so many companies across the retail and travel sectors, Antler has been profoundly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Although the business was trading well prior to the virus outbreak, restrictions imposed at the start of the lockdown period prompted the closure of Antler’s retail and wholesale outlets, while the impact on international travel has also significantly affected sales.

‘With uncertainty over the lifting of travel restrictions placing further financial strain on the business, the directors concluded that they had no option but to appoint administrators.

‘We will continue to trade the business via its online channels while we assess options for this iconic brand and would invite any interested parties to make contact with us at the earliest opportunity.’

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