Agent Provocateur shutters Australia stores
Recovering British retailer Agent Provocateur will shutter its Australian stores, under the new management of Four (Holdings) Limited, a company in which Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has a shareholding of 25%
Previously owned by privately equity firm 3i, the high-end lingerie retailer entered administration earlier this year with heavy debt, before it was snatched up by Four Limited for 31 million pounds.
As the new owner looks to clean-up the firm's international business, it has been revealed that three of Agent Provocateur's stores in Australia -- one in David Jones in Sydney, one in David Jones in Melbourne, plus another in Little Collins Street in Melbourne -- have already closed, with another in Westfield Sydney to close this May or until stock lasts, according to Fairfax Media.
David Jones, Australia's leading luxury department store, brought the high-end underwear label to Australia in 2013, stocking the brand across two of its flagship stores in Melbourne and Sydney. At the time of entry, Australia was Agent Provocateur’s fourth largest market for online sales, which beckoned the UK brand’s bricks-and-mortar entry into the local market.
With the official store closures announced this week, Agent Provocateur will still be available for purchase in Australia online.
Overseeing the Australia consolidation are Rahul Goyal and David Winterbottom of KordaMentha, who were appointed administrators of Agent Provocateur Holdings on March 8.
Agent Provocateur has a total of 20 staff in Australia, with 15 fulltime employees and boasts an annual turnover of between AU$5 million and $10 million locally, KordaMentha told NewsCorp.
Agent Provocateur was co-founded in 1994 by Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.
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