Wild Pair calls in receivers as it looks to trade through administration

The receivers were appointed at the request of directors Michael Donovan and Paul Donovan.

Wild Pair has appointed receivers but will continue to trade as the administrators seek buyers for the women's apparel and footwear chain.

Andrew Grenfell and William Black of McGrathNicol have been appointed receivers and managers of the Auckland-based company, according to documents lodged with the Companies Office. ASB Bank is named as holding a debenture since July 1998 in the filings.

The receivers were appointed at the request of directors Michael Donovan and Paul Donovan, and have taken control of Wild Pair's business and assets, which stretches across 21 stores, according to the company's website.

"Wild Pair's stores will continue to trade while we work with stakeholders, management and staff to stabilise operations to facilitate a thorough assessment of the company's financial position," Mr Grenfell said in a statement. "Expressions of interest in the business should be directed to the receivers."

The retailer is 51% owned by Michael Donovan and 49% by Paul Donovan, and was incorporated in 1987 under the name Payless Shoes. Michael Donovan also sits on the board of Hallenstein Glasson, and he and Paul Donovan also jointly own the Lippy NZ clothing business.

Wild Pair is the latest retailer to face the stresses of a changing market, where online vendors are able to undercut local bricks and mortar offerings. That's seen the likes of department store Kirkcaldie & Stains invite takeover by Sydney retailer David Jones, while Hellaby Holdings has put its shoe chains, Hannahs and Number One Shoes, up for sale after writing down their value. Children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch has teetered under the strain of too much debt.

Government data this week showed spending on apparel on credit and debit cards fell 0.7% in October to $296 million, its biggest decline since June.

The receivers are scheduled to release their first report on January 22.