The 76-year-old company called in administrators KordaMentha Restructuring last month, saying it couldn’t compete with “the influx of multinational retailers and the rapid, global evolution of online shopping”.
KordaMentha’s Craig Shepard said today that, while there had been some interest among potential buyers, the retail clothing environment was too tough to attract firm bids.
All remaining stock, including the summer range, is being moved into stores, with the embattled retailer closing down by early to mid-December. Discounts of 60 percent or more will available until stores close for good. The company began offering discounts of between 50 and 60 percent from October 18, when it was placed in voluntary administration.
The 76-year-old family-owned business has 57 fashion and accessories stores. Mr Shepard said all remaining stock, including the summer range, is being moved into stores and will be priced to clear. Roger David is the latest fashion brand to go under amid fierce competition from online shopping.
Roger David, like many other fashion retailers, has been buffeted by global competition, stagnant sales and rising fixed costs,” Mr Shepard said. “The company has been exploring all options, including a sale of the business, but has been unable to find an alternative to administration.”
Mr Shepard said it was likely the 76-year-old chain would be closed down shortly after Christmas because of the overheads involved in staying open. The exact timing would be announced at a later stage. “The best way to get a return here is to turn that stock through very quickly and eliminate that occupancy cost,” he said.
Mr Shepard said Roger David had slashed the number of stores from 135 to 57 stores as it sought to “right-size” the business. The company had also spent two years working with KPMG on an attempted sale of the business without success.
“To take out more than 50 per cent of your stores in two years is a big achievement – they have had a full crack at it,” he said. The company employs 300 full-time workers and almost 200 casual workers. Roger David has 193 employees in 19 stores in Victoria, 98 in 15 stores in Queensland, 77 in 12 stores in NSW, 60 in seven stores in WA, 15 in two stores in SA, 15 in two stores in Tasmania and four in one Canberra store. It employs 300 full-time people and almost 200 casuals and part-timers.
“The employees and customers have been remarkable in the past four weeks to help provide the company with cash flow to help pay entitlements and creditors,” Mr Shepherd said.
The store has 193 employees in 19 stores in Victoria, 98 in 15 stores in Queensland, 77 in 12 stores in NSW, 60 in seven stores in Western Australia, 15 in two stores in South Australia, 15 in two stores in Tasmania and four in one store in Canberra.
News of the store’s closure follows in the footsteps of other iconic brands, such as David Lawrence, Marcs, Oroton and Toys ‘R’ Us, which closed due to poor business.
“They think they have looked under every rock. The competition in the market, the internationals and in general online, it has just got tougher and tougher.” Mr Shepard said Roger David turned over about $60 million a year.
“The directors are incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the last 76 years,” the statement said before thanking staff for their service.
“Thank you also to Roger David’s loyal customers who have been on a journey with Roger David since we opened our doors. Like you, we are heartbroken but forever grateful to have served generations of your family since 1942.” Mr Shepard praised staff and customers for their efforts during voluntary administration and in the lead up to the brand’s inevitable closure.
‘The employees and customers have been remarkable in the past four weeks to help provide the company with cash flow to help pay entitlements and creditors.’ he said.