An Australian fashion retailer that had both brick-and-mortar stores as well as a prominent online presence has collapsed.
On Friday afternoon, Australian clothes label Alice McCall went into liquidation.
The company has shut down its stores across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
However, it is still selling what remains of its products online, with clearance sales now underway.
The mid-tier brand’s clothes are sold through several online resellers including at mega e-commerce site The Iconic.
Matthew Kucianski of Worrells has been appointed as the liquidator.
Founded in 2004 by eponymous fashion designer Alice McCall, the company fell into hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In November 2020, the company went into voluntary administration.
Although the company’s founder, Ms McCall, has yet to release a statement about the news of her company’s demise on Friday afternoon, she did speak in 2020 following the appointment of administrators, saying she had done so with a “heavy heart”.
“Due to the unprecedented effects that COVID-19 has had on our economy, as well as some unsustainable bricks and mortar rental obligations, I have had to make a necessary decision to edit down my business, with the objective of building a more sustainable business model for the future,” she said at the time.
Worrells was not involved in the voluntary administration of the company but has been appointed as the liquidator.
A spokesperson for Worrells told news.com.au it was too early at this stage to reveal the number of creditors or the amount of debts the retailer had racked up as the insolvency firm had literally only been appointed hours ago.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved, and we will do our utmost to support all stakeholders throughout the liquidation process,” Mr Kucianski said.
“Our team is committed to ensuring that the liquidation process is conducted in a professional and transparent manner, and that all parties are kept informed of developments as they arise.”
Worrells said it wanted to encourage Australians “to continue to support the brand” by engaging in online sale campaigns.
Alice McCall is the latest in a string of collapses that hit the Australian retail sector after Covid-19 stimulus packages ran dry.
Last month, furniture seller Brosa fell into liquidation after its restructuring attempt failed, leaving behind debts of $24 million, including $10 million to customers from unfulfilled orders.
In July last year, trendy sunglasses business Soda Shades also went into administration owing $2.3 million, citing tough market conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also sold its wares through The Iconic.
Just a week before, sneaker company Sneakerboy also folded with $17.2 million owed to more than 100 creditors.
Online fashion giant Missguided also had no choice but to call in administrators after failing to secure a rescue bid, with big name brands like The Iconic and Myer selling its wares prior to its collapse.
Like Alice McCall, Seafolly, Kikki K, Jeanswest and Bardot also entered administration at the end of 2020.
A few of these retailers, including Seafolly and Jeanswest, were lucky to be bought out and saved from collapse after a successful restructuring.
Unfortunately, this was clearly not the case for Alice McCall.