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PAS Group fashion retailer blames COVID-19 for going into voluntary administration


Fashion firm PAS Group enters voluntary administration leaving some of Australia’s best-known labels at risk

  •  PAS Group has been placed into voluntary administration because of COVID-19
  •  PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed as the retailer’s voluntary administrators
  •  Brands include JETS swimwear, Mooks, Black Pepper, Yarra Trail, Bondi Bather
  •  Sports brands Everlast, Dunlop, Slazenger, Lonsdale, Russell Athletic also sold
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The fashion retailer behind well-known clothing and footwear brands including Dunlop, Slazenger and Lonsdale has gone into voluntary administration because of COVID-19.

The PAS Group, which has 225 stores, told the Australian Securities Exchange it had appointed  PricewaterhouseCoopers as voluntary administrators.

Its brands also include JETS swimwear, Marco Polo, Breakaway, Mooks, Black Pepper, Yarra Trail and Bondi Bather.

The PAS Group, which has 225 stores, told the Australian Securities Exchange it had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as voluntary administrators. Its brands also include JETS swimwear, pictured

The PAS Group, which has 225 stores, told the Australian Securities Exchange it had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as voluntary administrators. Its brands also include JETS swimwear, pictured

Sports brands Everlast, Dunlop, Slazenger, Lonsdale and Russell Athletic are supplied on a wholesale basis.

‘The administrators will undertake a preliminary review and assessment of the group’s operations that have been impacted by difficult trading conditions, including the COVID-19 pandemic,’ the PAS Group said.

‘While the Board is of the view that the company is solvent, given the issues as a result of unfavourable financial market conditions, the COVID-19 crisis and the challenges of restructuring in that environment, it felt that administration was the best way to affect change while protecting all stakeholders.’

The company said voluntary administration would enable it to restructure and ‘continue operating strongly and sustainably into the future’. 

PAS Group’s stores will continue to trade as normal, in accordance with coronavirus social distancing restrictions in Australia and New Zealand with all store credits and vouchers to be honoured.

The Melbourne-based company employs 1,300 people and was established in 2004 as an apparel retailer.

The retailer, which also sells Yarra Trail, blamed COVID-19 for its decision to go into voluntary administration and restructure

The retailer, which also sells Yarra Trail, blamed COVID-19 for its decision to go into voluntary administration and restructure

PwC partners Stephen Longley, David McEvoy and Martin Ford, as voluntary administrators, are tasked with undertaking a preliminary review and assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the group’s operations.

The decision to go into voluntary administration followed a record 17.9 per cent economy-wide plunge in Australian retail sales in April, after a record 8.5 per cent spike in March as a result of coronavirus panic buying.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed turnover in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, and cafes, restaurants and takeaways was about half the level of April 2019.

The PAS Group decision was made a day after department brand David Jones’s South African parent company Woolworths Holdings announced it would close stores in a bid to pay down $500million worth of debt and deal with a 35 per cent plummet in sales during March and April because of COVID-19.

A week ago, retail conglomerate Wesfarmers announced it would close 75 Target stores and convert 92 remaining ones to Kmarts during the next year.

Sports brands Everlast, Dunlop (Volley shoe, pictured), Slazenger, Lonsdale and Russell Athletic are supplied on a wholesale basis

Sports brands Everlast, Dunlop (Volley shoe, pictured), Slazenger, Lonsdale and Russell Athletic are supplied on a wholesale basis

So are youth-orientated brands like Mooks

 So are youth-orientated brands like Mooks

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