Topshop Australia enters voluntary administration
Fast-fashion retailer Topshop Australia has entered voluntary administration, leaving employees across the country feeling shocked and uncertain about their future.
The company says it will be business as usual while administrators decide on the next steps, and has promised its 760 employees they will still be paid.
The New Zealand arm of the international fashion chain has assured Newshub there will be no impact on the business in New Zealand.
"The franchise for Topshop Topman NZ is an entirely separate entity and shareholding from the Australian business, so their situation doesn’t have any affect on our business operations," Topshop said in a statement.
"Unlike the Australian business that has a couple of dozen large-format stores in a highly competitive market, our strategy and approach to rolling out the brand in the New Zealand market has been a much slower, considered roll out, with currently only two stores in key locations and plans on the horizon for another two."
There is currently one Topshop store in Auckland and one in Wellington. In March, Topshop New Zealand told Newshub there were plans for new stores in Christchurch and Auckland, and plans for a web store in the second half of 2017.
Australia's arm of Topshop/Topman has nine stand-alone stores, another 17 inside Myer stores and an online store that was opened in March this year - a latecomer to the world of online shopping.
Entering voluntary administration means Topshop Australia's finances will be temporarily frozen while an administrator attempts to work out a way to save the business. There are then three possible outcomes - the business may be returned to its directors, placed into liquidation or enter into a company arrangement.
Topshop launched in Australia in 2011, with a flagship store in Melbourne. Since then, it set up shop inside Myer department stores, where it is currently struggling.
Myer has a 20 percent stake in Topshop and in February, reported its share of Topshop's loss reached $640,000 in the first half.
Despite the loss, Myer insists Topshop is valuable for its youth appeal.
"It's still a sought-after brand and we're very comfortable we made the right decision," Myer chief executive Richard Umbers told the Sydney Morning Herald.