Dune starts strategic review, talks to landlords - report
Footwear retailer Dune is reportedly the latest high-profile name to be considering a company voluntary arrangement as it launches a strategic review in the face of the unprecedented pressures it has seen over the past year that look unlikely to lessen until later in 2021.
The privately-owned retailer is believed to have appointed advisors from KPMG to look at its strategic options with a CVA on the list.
Although not as large as some of the other companies that have taken such steps in recent periods, Dune is a prominent name on the UK high street and has been around for almost 30 years. It was founded by Daniel Rubin in 1992 and currently employs 1,200 people. It operates 43 standalone stores across the country, as well as its webstore, and 175 concessions – although some of these have been affected by the Debenhams shutdown. It also started selling on QVC last year.
Sky News reported that as part of the review, it's talking to landlords about its options and is seeking turnover-based rent deals.
Rubin remains at the helm of the company and was quoted by Sky News saying: “The trading environment continues to be extremely tough, and like many other high street retailers, we are reviewing all aspects of our business to ensure we're in the best position possible to navigate our way through this difficult period.
“We've had constructive dialogue with our landlords since the start of the pandemic, but we now need to engage with them further if we are to safeguard our future.
“To this end, we have appointed KPMG to review options specifically in relation to our property portfolio, and to assist us with our negotiations with stakeholders as we seek to manage our business through the months ahead.”
Of course, a CVA isn't a foregone conclusion and if the talks with landlords go the way the company would like them to, it's something that it may be able to avoid.
Dune has only recently announced the opening of a new flagship store at London's Broadgate and last summer also opened at Centre:MK in Milton Keynes. And the company has made an impact with its advertising campaigns featuring Gillian Anderson.
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