Coronavirus and the high street: Oasis and Warehouse are on the brink of collapse
Oasis and Warehouse are reportedly facing collapse as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to threaten the high street.
According to a Sky News report, the latest news comes just three weeks after The Oasis and Warehouse Group, which employs 2,300 people across the UK and Ireland, began discussions with a prospective buyer. However, the widespread uncertainty born of the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible to conclude a solvent sale.
It is understood that the women's retailers are due to appoint accountancy firm Deloitte to handle the insolvency process, with the latter expected to furlough many of the employees who keep their jobs under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
During the initial stages of the sale process, a statement by the retailer made reference to the difficulties facing the industry: "Like all businesses operating in these unprecedented times, we continue to work on how we can best navigate through the current challenging circumstances following the Covid-19 outbreak." Talks with prospective bidders are reportedly set to continue following Deloitte's appointment.
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We’re facing an unprecedented shift in how we live our lives and we wanted to share with you the steps we are taking regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our teams and customers’ wellbeing is so important to us as we continue to monitor the global situation we find ourselves in. Following government advice, we’ve made the decision to close all London and Republic of Ireland stores from the end of day 20/03. All other Warehouse stores will be closed from 21/03 end of trade until further notice. Should you be at home, Warehouse.co.uk remains open and we are delivering parcels as normal with updated delivery options upon checkout. Please take some time to put your health first, ring that friend you’ve been meaning to for a while and take a long walk. Our teams are here to help you with whatever you need – your conversation means a lot. From everyone at Warehouse we hope you stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones.
Prior to the lockdown, The Oasis and Warehouse Group traded from 90 stores and more than 400 concessions in larger department stores, including Debenhams and Selfridges.
Last week, Debenhams announced that its UK stores had gone into administration while its Irish business was liquidated. The announcement marked the second time in 12 months that Debenhams had entered into administration. Following the lockdown imposed by the government, both Warehouse and Oasis had continued to trade online.
As of yesterday, neither Deloitte nor The Oasis and Warehouse Group, which is run by Hashim Ladha a former executive at Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group, had commented on reports.
It is, however, expected that an announcement will be made today.