Women’s fashion brand Bardot has gone under, joining the growing list of Australian labels buckling from a languishing retail sector.
The brand, which launched in 1996, said despite strong online sales it could not hold up its retail network.
“Despite double-digit growth in online sales, and our highly successful expansion into the US and Europe, Bardot’s retail stores in Australia are competing in a highly cluttered, and increasingly discount-driven market,” Bardot chief executive Basil Artemides said in a statement.
“Operating a national retail network in its current state is no longer sustainable.”
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Meanwhile, it will be business as usual for the retailer while KPMG has been appointed to do a company-wide restructure of the firm.
KPMG restructuring services partner Brendan Richards said there are “many questions… yet to be answered”.
“However, I can confirm that Bardot store trading will continue on a business-as-usual basis while we undertake an immediate assessment of the business.”
Gift cards and credit cards will continue to be honoured as the restructure takes place.
Richards pointed to the “iconic” brand’s business’ growth in overseas markets but also acknowledged the “challenging domestic environment”.
“We expect strong interest in the sale (and) recapitalisation process,” he said.
Artimedes said staff would be updated as the restructure takes place.
“We acknowledge the potential impact that these changes may have on our team members and remain committed to open and timely communication with our stakeholders as KPMG undertakes its assessment.”
Bardot hires roughly 800 staff across 72 stores around the country. The company launched Bardot Junior in 2004.
There are 28 Bardot stores in NSW, followed by 15 in Victoria – where the brand’s head office is based – and nine in Queensland.
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