More than 1,800 members of staff at Oasis and Warehouse are to be made redundant after administrators were unable to rescue any parts of the business as a going concern. The brands’ 92 shops and 437 concessions, already closed as non-essential retailers during the Covid-19 pandemic, are now closed indefinitely. In total, 1,803 people will lose their jobs.
Administrators Rob Harding and Richard Hawes have sold some stock and intellectual property to Hilco Capital, so the Oasis and Warehouse names as well as names of subsidiary The Idle Man may trade again in the future.
The two fashion retailers went into administration in the middle of April, and since then Deloitte administrators have been assessing the costs of keeping the business running short-term, with a view to selling it to reopening stores after the lockdown. But last Wednesday, April 22, they decided to stop online trading because of the rising costs of fulfilling online orders and wider logistical challenges.
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.
“We would like to thank all the employees and other key stakeholders in the Group for their continued support.”
Deloitte was first appointed by the Oasis and Warehouse Group before the advent of Covid-19 and the subsequent administration in order to advise parent company, the nationalised Icelandic lender Kaupthing, on a potential sale of the business.
These job losses come in a year that was already expected to be a time of huge job losses for the retail industry. In early January the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) predicted that 17,000 jobs could be lost in 2020 – 9% up on the 16,073 that were lost in 2019. By late January, the CRR said the total lost had already hit 10,000.
Since Covid-19 hit, Dixons Carphone has said that it will close all 531 of its Carphone Warehouse stores, while retailers including John Lewis and Debenhams have already signalled further closures.
Oasis was a Top50 retailer in 2020 RXUK Top500 research, while Warehouse was Top250.
Image courtesy of Oasis Warehouse Group