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Exclusive: Head office redundancies at East

The majority of head office staff at East have been made redundant following the retailer’s collapse into administration earlier this week, Drapers can reveal.

Geoff Rowley and Phil Armstrong, partners at business consultancy FRP Advisory, were appointed joint administrators on 29 January.

A total of 29 head office staff were let go today, with a skeleton staff of 18 retained to run the day-to-day business while administrators seek a buyer. It is not yet known which roles have been retained and which have been made redundant.

Joint administrator Geoff Rowley said: “We have received a number of expressions of interest and are now evaluating each option. Unfortunately we have had to begin making redundancies due to the financial position of the company.”

East blamed tough trading for the collapse. It has 34 stores and 15 concessions which all continue to trade.

Savills has been appointed to advise on the retailer’s property portfolio. 

Earlier this week a source close to the situation told Drapers that East CEO Erica Vilkauls, and the retailer’s co-founder and product director Penny Oliver, had been trying to purchase the company through a management buy-out (MBO), but an agreement could not be reached with owner Crore Capital.

It is the second time East has fallen into administration in less than three years. The business collapsed in June 2015, blaming an “inconsistent” approach to design.

Interested parties or suppliers seeking further information on the business should  [email protected]



Readers' comments (1)

  • So sorry for all of the EAST team who did not deserve what has happened. They have behaved professionally throughout this quite awful process. Let's hope retailers out there can pick up some great people.

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