Following a competitive sales process, the brands and intellectual property associated with the online business of Karen Millen and Coast have been acquired by Boohoo.
Rob Harding and Richard Hawes, restructuring partners at Deloitte, were today appointed as joint administrators of Karen Millen Fashions Limited, Karen Millen Retail Limited (together “the Companies”) and certain other group entities to facilitate the sale.
Both are global women’s fashion brands focused on premium quality dresses and tailoring. Karen Millen was founded in 1981 by Karen Millen and Kevin Stanford and Coast was founded in 1996.
The Companies, which trade both brands, have 32 stores and operates through 177 concessions in the United Kingdom, employing c.1,100 people in the UK and with a head office in London. The international arm of the business will continue trading in the short term.
Whilst the online business will continue, Karen Millen and Coast will continue to trade in store for a short time whilst the administrators realise the other assets of the Companies. Unfortunately, it has been necessary to announce 62 immediate redundancies.
Like many high street retailers, Karen Millen has suffered from high product and other cost inflation, decreasing footfall, weaker consumer confidence and a complex global operation in an increasingly competitive market.
Rob Harding, joint administrator, commented: “As we continue to see, the retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging. Karen Millen has been seeking to address the financial challenges that it faced by pursuing a sale of the business and, whilst a sale of the whole business has not been deliverable, the boohoo transaction facilitates the survival of these iconic British brands through an online platform. We thank all employees and other key stakeholders for their support at this difficult time.”