Colette by Colette Hayman enters voluntary administration

Ella Bazzani-Hockley

Image by Bonnie Hansen
Words by Ella Bazzani-Hockley

Leaving an oversized tote bag-shaped hole in the hearts of Australian tweens.

The days of picking up a set of friendship bracelets and some fawn-coloured faux-leather for less than $50 may be behind us.

Handbag, jewellery and accessories retailer, Colette by Colette Hayman, is the latest Australian favourite to enter voluntary administration amidst widespread fashion sector strife.

The ABC reports that the brand’s collapse this week leaves 300 jobs at risk, though the company has assured workers they’ll continue to be paid and gift cards will be honoured.

Since launching in 2010, Colette by Colette Hayman has grown to almost 180 retail stores across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Hayman’s native South Africa.

Appointed Voluntary Administrator, Vaughan Strawbridge, says of the announcement, “Colette By Colette Hayman has, unfortunately, been impacted by the current weak retail environment, as have many others.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, in addition to poor trading conditions, the business was expecting a new funding deal, which fell through.

If you feel you’ve lost a whole chunk of your favourite retail chains in recent years, you’re not alone.

Jeanswest and Harris Scarfe are two of the most recent Australian brands to similarly collapse, though retail giants like BardotTopshop, Toys R Us, Dick Smith, Australian Geographic, Pumpkin Patch, Metalicus and German brand Esprit – are also among the best-known brands to have also vanished from the retail landscape in recent years.

A ‘deteriorating’ retail sector has been blamed in each case. We’re seeing higher vacancy rates in shopping centres, diminished profitability among brands, and an increase in e-commerce over ‘brick-and-mortar’ stores.

Vaughn Strawbridge claims the situation is unparalleled, saying, “I don’t think we’ve seen this number of retailers who’ve struggled at the same time before.”


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