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Fashion retailer Austin Reed, which has an outlet in Grantham, enters administration

Austin Reed.
Austin Reed.

Menswear chain Austin Reed, which operates a concession at Grantham’s Boundary Mills, has gone into administration.

The 116-year-old tailor will continue to operate its 100 stores and 50 concessions while administrators seek a buyer for the business.

Business advisory firm AlixPartners has been appointed joint administrator to the menswear group, which employs 1,184 staff nationally.

Austin Reed, which also has the Viyella and Country Casuals brands, says its predicament is due to “cash flow difficulties” and “ challenging retail market conditions”.

Austin Reed, founded in 1900, has suffered years of falling sales as it has failed to attract younger shoppers.

It names among its famous clients International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde while Sir Winston Churchill and Elizabeth Taylor are among its famous former customers

Peter Saville, joint administrator at AlixPartners, said: “Our priority now is to work with all stakeholders and determine the optimum route forward for the business as we continue to serve customers throughout the UK and Ireland.

“Austin Reed is a well-regarded and iconic brand and therefore we are confident that it is an attractive proposition for a range of potential buyers, as such we expect, and welcome, contact from interested third parties.”

The move is the second blow in as many days to the high street following yesterday’s announcement that retailing giant BHS had gone into administration putting 11,000 jobs at risk nationally.


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