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Administrators appointed to fashion chains Warehouse and Oasis leaving hundreds of Irish jobs at risk

Online trading continues “in the short term”, the company said.

Image: PA

FASHION CHAINS OASIS and Warehouse have collapsed into administration as the latest names to fail during the coronavirus lockdown.

Around 2,000 workers across 92 stores and 437 concessions are affected, although administrators said the majority would remain furloughed for now.

But 200 were made redundant today by Deloitte, as administrators try to find a buyer.

Online trading continues “in the short term”, the company added.

Hash Ladha, chief executive of Oasis Warehouse, said: “This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us.

“We as a management team have done everything we can to try and save the iconic brands that we love.”

The news also affects the chains’ Irish outlets. The High Court appointed provisional liquidators to the Irish arms of the outlets.

The order was sought in relation to Oasis Fashions Ireland Ltd, and Warehouse Fashion Ireland Ltd, which the court heard is part of the Aurora Fashions group, owned by the  Icelandic Kaupthing Bank.

The two firms employ 248 people at 13 stores and 29 concession stands in Ireland.

The group which the two Irish firms are part of had been seeking a buyer, but the impact of the Covid-19 which had resulted in the closure of high street stores, ended prospects of securing fresh investment, despite the fact there had been several expressions of interest. 
Rob Harding, Joint Administrator at Deloitte, said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the entire retail industry and not least the Oasis Warehouse group.

“Despite management’s best efforts over recent weeks, and significant interest from potential buyers, it has not been possible to save the business in its current form.”

The Oasis and Warehouse Group has been looking for a saviour for weeks, according to reports.

But the coronavirus pandemic is eating into businesses, which were already feeling the pinch before the outbreak started.

Debenhams last week entered administration for the second time in a year in a bid to protect itself during the shutdown.

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The company’s 142 stores across the UK and Ireland were already closed and most of the 22,000 members of staff on furlough before the owners pushed the business into administration.

The coronavirus crisis has also forced Flybe to collapse, and Carluccio’s and BrightHouse have also closed their doors.

Other businesses are hoping to be able to reopen when the lockdown is lifted.

But some are now concerned at the high costs needed to reopen and restock stores once any restrictions are eased.

Landlords and retailers are also at an impasse, with reports that some landlords are threatening court action over unpaid bills.

With reporting by Aodhán Ó Faoláin and Garreth MacNamee

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