Nearly 1,000 workers’ jobs are in limbo after Australian womenswear brand Bardot announced it had gone into voluntary administration.
The company, which has over 800 employees and 72 stores across the country, said a ‘challenging domestic market’ was one of the factors behind their decision.
Brendan Richards and Ryan Eagle, from KPMG, have been appointed voluntary administrators to restructure the company.
Mr Richards said would trading will continue as usual for the time-being while the administrators work to assess the business.
Bardot’s chief executive Basil Artemides promised ‘open and timely communication’ to its 800 staff throughout the process, however it’s not yet known what will happen to their jobs in the long run.
The womenswear brand was launched in 1996 by designer Carol Skoufis, who owns 100 per cent of the company.
From just five employees in the 90s, it grew into a successful company and launched its well-received children’s line Bardot Junior in 2004.
The company rakes in around $120million in sales annually.
Although Bardot experienced a recent surge in sales after expanding overseas, Mr Artemides said the decision was made to ensure Australia ‘is, and will always remain, the heart of the Bardot business’.
‘Despite double-digit growth in online sales, and our highly successful expansion into the US and Europe, Bardot’s retail stores in Australia are competing in a highly cluttered, and increasingly discount-driven market,’ he said on Thursday.
‘Operating a national retail network in its current state is no longer sustainable.’
But Mr Richards hopes the business can come back from the brink after the company-wide restructure.
‘Although the company has experienced significant growth in overseas markets, it has faced a challenging domestic environment in recent times. We expect strong interest in the sale/recapitalisation process,’ he said.
‘In the last five years, the business has grown significantly offshore and capitalised on its Australian heritage by distributing through high profile international department stores.’