Late last month, the company behind popular jewellery and accessories chain Colette by Colette Hayman – the CBCH group of companies – was placed into voluntary administration, with Deloitte Restructuring Services partners Vaughan Strawbridge, Sam Marsden and Jason Tracy appointed administrators.
At the time, Mr Strawbridge said Australia’s gloomy retail climate was largely to blame for the business’s failure.
“Colette By Colette Hayman has, unfortunately, been impacted by the current weak retail environment, as have many others,” Mr Strawbridge said.
“Our focus is on continuing to trade the business while we seek either a recapitalisation of the group or a sale of the business.
“Given the strength of the brand, we are confident we will be able to secure a future for the business and preserve the employment of as many people as possible.”
Now, administrators have confirmed 105 stores will remain in the portfolio to be offered for sale – which means 33 Australian and New Zealand stores, or a quarter of the empire, will shut over the next three weeks.
In a statement, Mr Strawbridge said efforts are being made to redeploy staff who are affected by stores closures.
“All staff impacted are expected to receive all their wages and entitlements in full,” he said.
“The administrators have continued to trade the business since their appointment and have seen a good response from customers and staff who are supporting the brand, demonstrating the value of the business.”
Mr Strawbridge said as part of their appointment they have reviewed the Colette network, taking into consideration a number of factors before making the decision to close stores.
“This is never easy and we have regrettably had to make the decision to close 33 stores. We are working closely with the Colette management team to effect the closures quickly while seeking to redeploy staff impacted,” he said.
It is understood a Colette store in Belconnen in the ACT is slated for closure, alongside branches in DFO Birkenhead, Rhodes Waterside, Warriewood, Chatswood, Hornsby and Kotara in NSW and Rundle Mall in South Australia.
In Queensland, Colette’s Mackay, Queen St, Kawana, Logan, Australia Fair, Mt Ommaney, DFO Cairns, Rockhampton, Noosa and Coomera outlets will shutter as well as Ocean Keys, Hay Street (Enex), Belmont, DFO Watertown and Mandurah Forum in Western Australia.
Docklands, Moonee Ponds, Bendigo, DFO Spencer, Greensborough, Cranbourne, Mildura and Doncaster in Victoria will also close as well as stores in Albany and New Plymouth in New Zealand.
Administrators say the closure of the 33 loss-making stores will strengthen the chain’s position for sale.
Initial expressions of interest due early next week.