Coast clothing chain collapses into administration with loss of 300 jobs

Clothing chain Coast has collapsed into administration, becoming the latest retailer to be hit by Britain’s high street woes and putting 300 jobs at risk.

The firm’s staff were being informed on Thursday evening that PwC has been drafted in to carry out the process, with all 24 standalone sites to close.

Rival chain Karen Millen has bought the group’s brand and website, taking on 600 staff, but 300 jobs are now at risk.

Coast has been hit hard by the collapse of House of Fraser, which went into administration earlier this year owing millions to retailers with concessions within the department store.

Coast is owned by Aurora Fashions, which also owns retailers Oasis and Warehouse.

Aurora itself is owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which in turn owns Karen Millen.

Coast gift cards and returns will continue to be honoured; full terms and conditions are available at www.coast-stores.com .

Karen Millen is confident that it can leverage its product expertise and existing global relationships to drive growth potential across Coast’s sales channels.

Beth Butterwick, CEO of Karen Millen, said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family.

"With its beautiful fabrics, stunning colours and signature designs, Coast is a much-loved fashion brand that has dressed women for all occasions since 1996.

"Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”

The news comes at a difficult time for the sector, with the likes of Maplin, ToysRUs and House of Fraser all collapsing this year.

New Look, Homebase and casual dining chains have also had to slim down their store portfolios, with Patisserie Valerie the latest to hit the buffers.

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