Karen Millen buys Coast out of administration

UK retailer Karen Millen has bought parts of the Coast brand, after the clothing store collapsed into administration on Thursday.

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed as the company struggled to deal with continued financial difficulties and a changing retail market.

The sale to Karen Millen has saved 600 jobs at Coast, however, the deal did not include Coast’s 24 standalone retail stores, which means around 300 jobs will be lost.

Mike Denny, joint administrator and PwC director, said: “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear.

“This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing. Karen Millen will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the new business.”

Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Karen Millen, said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family. With its beautiful fabrics, stunning colours and signature designs, Coast is a much-loved fashion brand that has dressed women for all occasions since 1996.

“Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”

UK retail has had a turbulent year, with a number of high profile brands falling into administration. Last month, fashion brand Orla Kiely collapsed, and in August, Sports Direct bought House of Fraser out of administration.

Meanwhile, high street cafe chain Patisserie Valerie is also facing imminent closure, after uncovering a black hole in its finances earlier this week. The group said on Thursday that if it does not receive an “immediate cash injection”, it will be forced to cease trading.

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