Pureplay Fashion Giant, Missguided, Enters Administration

Power Retail By Power Retail | 31 May 2022

Pureplay fashion retailer, Missguided, is entering administration after it failed to compete against the leading online fast-fashion competition and stay secure in rough trading conditions. 

The fast-fashion retailer, which was founded in 2009, began as a pureplay retailer. Its audience is women aged between 16-35. In 2016, it opened a few brick-and-mortar stores across the UK, before shutting them all down entirely.

The business has reported struggles over the last few weeks, following its 50 percent acquisition by an investment firm, Alteri Investors, in October 2021. At the time, this investment aimed to give the business the “liquidity and support it needs to overcome short-term supply chain challenges, as well as a platform to return the business to sustainable profitability.”

Missguided currently has four million active customers, serving in more than 18 countries. It is also available on other pureplay fashion platforms, such as ASOS.

In its financial update ending March 31st 2021, Missguided reported sales of £287m (AUD504 million).

But it’s been a tough few months for Missguided. In February, the business restructured, reducing its employment figures, making ‘significant progress in addressing stock issues, streamlining warehouse operations and reducing head office costs’, a statement read at the time. This aimed to put Missguided ‘in a position to accelerate its plans to find a strategic partner with the infrastructure and platform to deliver the next stage in its turnaround and maximise its potential’.

Then, in April, the CEO and founder of the online retailer, Nitin Passi, stepped down from his role. “Missguided has made substantial operational progress since receiving new investment at the end of 2021, placing us on a sounder footing in a very short space of time and I want to thank everyone for their hard work,” said Ian Gray, the Chairman of Missguided. “Missguided is one of the most vibrant brands in young women’s fashion and that’s down to more than a decade of hard work by Nitin.”

Despite these efforts, the business has failed to elevate its offering, and filed for administration, appointing Teneo Financial Advisory as administrators. Roughly 80 jobs have been lost, with 140 more at risk.

Administrators put the rough trading conditions in the UK as the catalyst for this collapse. “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging,” said Gavin Maher, the MD of Teneo.

There are currently a few potential buyers in the works, it’s reported. The leading online fashion retailer, ASOS, is currently in talks with administrators to potentially buy the business, but there are talks that Boohoo and JD Sports are also among the mix.

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