Myer rescues David Lawrence, Marcs from potential closure
Australian fashion retailers Marcs and David Lawrence are off the chopping block, with department store major Myer purchasing the brands and stock from administrators just weeks after the duo started closing down stores.
Myer -- Australia's second biggest department store -- announced the deal on Thursday, which includes Marcs' and David Lawrence's existing inventory, brand names and intellectual property but does not include lease liabilities and staff obligations, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Owned by M. Webster Holdings, Marcs and David Lawrence went into administration February 2, owing about AU$30 million (US$26.61 million) to creditors including owner Malcolm Webster, a secured creditor.
Appointed administrators Rodgers Reidy had already closed 13 stores in Australia and ten in New Zealand earlier in the year, in a bid to make the purchase of the struggling pair more attractive to investors. The other option, permanently close all stores.
“As administrators, we have an obligation to restructure the operations of the Australian and New Zealand businesses while we attempt to sell the business as a going concern," Andrew Barnden, administrator and director of Rodgers Reid told local media, at the time of the New Zealand market exit in early March.
Speaking of this week's acquisition, Myer's chief merchandise and customer officer Daniel Bracken told The Australian Financial Review that Myer came to the rescue a week ago after it became clear that no buyer could be found and the brands would be wound up.
"These brands are very very successful brands at Myer, both are considered part of our wanted brands strategy and both are highly productive (with high sales per square metre)," Bracken told the AFR.
The purchase price for the Marcs and David Lawrence inventory, brand names and other intellectual property was not disclosed.
Moreover, it was not disclosed if David Lawrence and Marcs stores in New Zealand would reopen and if more Australian outlets would fall. The retailer continues to trade 177 Marcs and David Lawrence stores in Australia.
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