Popular women's fashion brand Bardot has entered voluntary administration, blaming a 'highly cluttered' and 'discount-driven' market

Westfield

Popular women’s fashion brand Bardot has gone into voluntary administration, as the “highly cluttered and increasingly discount-driven” market continues to bite Australian retailers.

KPMG Australia was appointed on Thursday to lead a company-wide restructure, which Bardot chief executive Basil Artemides said would ensure Australia remained the heart of the business.

The retailer operates 72 stores across Australia – 15 of them in Victoria – and employs about 800 staff.

The news comes a week after iconic Australian retailer Dimmeys announced it would close its 31-store network after 166 years of trading.

Mr Artemides said on Thursday operating a national retail network in its current state was “no longer sustainable”.

“We acknowledge the potential impact that these changes may have on our team members and remain committed to open and timely communication with our stakeholders as KPMG undertakes its assessment.”

Bardot, which has its head office in Abbotsford in Melbourne’s inner north-east, was established in 1996 and found success in providing fast fashion to a predominantly young and female demographic.

Brendan Richards, restructuring services partner with KPMG, said stores would continue trading as normal and gift cards would be honoured on a dollar-for-dollar basis for “the foreseeable future”.

“Bardot is an iconic Australian womenswear brand with a rich history of over 20 years of growth,” Mr Richards 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.

“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 (and) recapitalisation process.”

Melbourne will host the first meeting of creditors on Tuesday, December 10.

This story originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. Read the original here.

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