High-fashion brands Marcs and David Lawrence to shut up shop in NZ

Marcs and David Lawrence are closing all 10 of their New Zealand stores with the loss of 44 staff.

Failed high-fashion clothing brands Marcs and David Lawrence are closing all 10 of their New Zealand stores with the loss of 44 staff.

Last month the high-profile Australian fashion labels collapsed with debts of more than $30 million.

Rodgers Reidy, the administrators of the chains’ owner Malcolm Webster's M Webster Holdings and Webster Asset in Australia, say the New Zealand operations will shut down over the next two months.

Both Marcs and Davis Lawrence have been operating in New Zealand for more than 10 years.

“As administrators, we have an obligation to restructure the operations of the Australian and New Zealand businesses while we attempt to sell the business as a going concern,” administrator and director of Rodgers Reidy Andrew Barnden said in a statement.

Store credit and gift vouchers will be accepted in store until March 31.

“Whilst the New Zealand stores of Marcs and David Lawrence are closing permanently, we are dealing with interested parties with respect to the sale of the Australian businesses and are continuing to trade 177 Marcs and David Lawrence stores.

“No decision has yet been made on the Australian arm of the businesses.”

Mr Barnden says Marcs and David Lawrence stores in Australia will continue to trade until further notice while the administrators are dealing with interested parties.

Marcs and David Lawrence were placed into voluntary administration due to deterioration of sales, poor cashflow and difficult market conditions.

Rodgers Reidy was appointed in the mid of a string of retail collapses in Australia, such as Payless Shoes, Pumpkin Patch, Howards Storage, Herringbone and Rhodes & Beckett.

Marcs was founded in 1984 and was the retailer du jour for menswear, famous for its colourful cotton shirts and well-tailored suits.  

Mr Barnden told the Australian Financial Review last month that they would be selling both brands together.  

“The approach is to get as much money for the brands as we can and get them into the hands of buyers so we have a business that's capable of being taken forward and save some jobs.”

Marcs has three stores in Auckland and two in Wellington. David Lawrence has four in Auckland and just one in Wellington.