G-Star Raw is the latest Australian retailer to enter voluntary administration



As if shopping for jeans isn’t hard enough already.

Dutch-owned denim label G-Star Raw has this week entered voluntary administration in Australia. The shutdown of 57 stores across the country leaves nearly 200 workers in the lurch. 

Administrators will undertake an assessment this week to try to minimise the damage, describing the closure as in part induced by the COVID-19 recession. 

Commercial landlords were the company’s major creditors, and have been hit hard by the pandemic response. Despite the company not having any major debts, the closure reportedly follows an extended period of underperformance across G-Star’s Australian stores. 

Launching in 1998, the denim retailer specialised in rigid, raw denim jeans (as its name would suggest). As if shopping for jeans wasn’t already hard enough, G-Star Raw was a go-to for shoppers across Australia, and the closure will leave some denim aficionados at a real loss.

G-Star Raw follows several Australian fashion brands entering voluntary administration. In the last few years alone, we’ve seen Bardot, Colette by Colette Hayman, and Napoleon Perdis all fall victim to a similar fate. 

Bardot was apparently one of the lucky ones, re-purchased by its original owners and re-opening this month as an online-only retailer. It represents a refocusing of the brand’s creative direction towards classic, slow-fashion staples, embracing the opportunity for reinvention amidst widespread retail sector strife.

Sadly, G-Star Raw might not be the last Aussie brand we see close up shop – up to 75 per cent of businesses are struggling at the moment to cover costs related to lease obligations and wages, an AFC survey interested reported last month. 

On the flip-side, this week we’ve seen lockdown restrictions easing, and G-Star Raw’s voluntary administrators are hopeful a retail uptick could provide a much-needed lifeline for Australian business owners. 


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