The future of nearly 1,000 high street jobs is in doubt after the fashion group that owns Jacques Vert and Windsmoor appointed administrators.
Duff & Phelps, the restructuring firm, confirmed that Calvetron Brands had collapsed into administration and that it had begun the search for a buyer for the troubled business, whose other clothing brands include Précis, Dash and Eastex.
“We are continuing to trade the company while reviewing the options to sell the business as a going concern,” said Benjamin Wiles, one of the joint administrators. “Calvetron Brands has been trading a number of well-known brands including Jacques Vert, Précis, Dash and Eastex and operating here in the UK as well as internationally in Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland.”
The group, which went through a restructuring last year, has 1,408 employees, with 997 based in the UK, 155 in Ireland and 256 in Canada. The brands are sold via 300 shops in department stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser, and M&Co.
The business was originally founded in 1972 by Jack Cynamon and Alan Green, tailors from the East End of London. In 1977 they used their names, with a French twist, to create the Jacques Vert clothing brand.
The company has been through numerous iterations and in June 2017 went into administration before being sold to a group of retail investors, which at the time included Harold Tillman, the former Jaeger owner, and the businessmen Sandeep Vyas and Haseeb Aziz.
Duff & Phelps said the company’s recovery had been hampered by legacy issues, including high costs relative to its turnover and “simply could not restructure its cost base quickly enough or create the necessary economies of scale to succeed”.
Peter Ridler, Calvetron Brands chief executive, said the management team’s efforts had been impeded by tough high street trading conditions.
“Everyone at Calvetron Brands has worked with energy and determination to achieve the turnaround that was needed,” said Ridler. “However, a combination of four brands that needed time and investment, against a backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions on the high street, rising costs and low customer confidence has meant that we haven’t been able to achieve this within the timescales required.”