Oasis and Warehouse are to permanently close all their stores and online shopping with the loss of more than 1,800 jobs after administrators said they had been unable to secure a rescue deal for the fashion chains.
The two brands have been sold to the restructuring firm Hilco, the owner of the Homebase DIY chain, in a deal which includes their stock but not their 92 standalone stores or about 400 concessions acrtoss outlets including Debenhams, House of Fraser and Sainsbury’s.
Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “Covid-19 has presented extraordinary challenges, which have devastated the retail industry. It is with great sadness that we have to announce a sale of the business has not been possible and that we are announcing so many redundancies today.
“This is a very difficult time for the group’s employees and other key stakeholders and we will do everything we can to support them through this.”
Oasis and Warehouse called in administrators earlier this month and made 200 head office staff redundant without any payoff.
The collapse of the fashion chains is yet another blow for high streets and shopping centres, after a wave of closures in the past two years amid a tough consumer market and rising costs.
The temporary enforced closure of clothing chains and other retail outlets deemed “non-essential” under government efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus has only added to difficulties.
In the past few months, Debenhams has fallen into administration for the second time in a year while vintage-inspired chains Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston have also called in administrators.
Other retailers including the footwear specialist Office, whose South African owner Truworths is urgently seeking a buyer, are also under pressure.