It's all over for Roger David menswear stores

Roger David website
  • Roger David’s 57 stores will close within weeks.
  • No buyers have been found.
  • Administrator KordaMentha says the retail clothing environment is just too tough.

Roger David, the 76-year-old Australian men’s clothing store, will close as a victim of a “tough” retail clothing market, including fierce competition from online and global players.

Australia’s third largest Australian menswear retailer, which employs 300 full-time people and almost 200 casuals and part-timers, went into voluntary administration last month.

Administrator Craig Shepard of KordaMentha says the 57 fashion and accessories stores will close within weeks after no buyers emerged in a four-week process to sell them as a going concern.

He says there had been some interest with potential buyers but the retail clothing environment was too tough to make it work.

“Everyone recognised the strength and the affection for the brand, but it did not pass the viability test,” he says.

“Roger David was a victim of rising fixed costs, fierce competition from online and global competitors and cautious consumer demand.”

All remaining stock, including the summer range, is being moved into stores and will be priced to clear.

Discounts of 60% or more will continue until the last day.

The stores will be closed by early to mid-December. The business was placed in Voluntary Administration on October 18.

“The employees and customers have been remarkable in the past four weeks to help provide the company with cash flow to help pay entitlements and creditors,” says Shepard.

The company, when announcing voluntary administration, said it was a sad day in the long history of Roger David menswear and for Australian retail.

“Despite the directors’ best efforts with the business, it simply could not compete with the influx of multinational retailers and the rapid, global evolution of online shopping,” it announced.

At its peak, Roger David had more than 100 stores, selling suits, other fashion and accessories under the Roger David and RDX brands.

Bricks and mortar retailers in Australia have been hit by weak consumer confidence and increasing competition from digital players.

This week Amazon Australia launched a local online fashion store with more than 150 Australian brands, p;lacing further pressure on local bricks and mortar outlets.

The fall of Roger David follows a string of clothing companies going under in Australia, including Marcs, Pumpkin Patch and Payless Shoes.

Roger David has 193 employees in 19 stores in Victoria, 98 in 15 stores in Queensland, 77 in 12 stores in NSW, 60 in seven stores in Western Australia, 15 in two stores in South Australia, 15 in two stores in Tasmania and four in one store in Canberra.

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