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Fashion brand G-Star Raw collapses in Australia leaving 200 without a job and 57 stores closed

Clothing brand G-Star Raw Australia has collapsed after failing to find a buyer.  

The Dutch-owned retail chain went into administration in May as a result of the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent downturn in sales which was exacerbated by government-ordered lockdowns.  

About 200 Australian workers at the denim giant’s 57 stores will now be out of a job.  

Justin Walsh, Sam Freeman and Stewart McCallum of EY were appointed as Voluntary Administrators of G-Star Australia Pty Ltd (the “Company”) on 15 May 2020,’ Ernst & Young said.

‘Despite an extensive marketing program no buyer was identified for Company’s business. 

‘As a consequence, all of the Company’s stores have now been closed.’

Justin Walsh told Daily Mail Australia on Friday, in the months since May EY was running a sale campaign to try and find a buyer for the business.

‘Alongside that, there was a large amount of stock. The best way to sell that was through the retail network, so we spent that time running down the stock levels and converting it to cash,’ Mr Walsh said.

He said that although the retail sector is actually in a very strong position at the moment as a result of government stimulus, there is underlying ‘uncertainly’ plaguing the industry.

‘I think people have one eye on the stimulus stopping,’ he said.

‘The uncertainty of what the sector may look like after that was a major contributor of not being able to find a buyer.’

The brand has flagship stores across the world including in New York, Paris and London.

Global superstars including Pharrell Williams and Jaden Smith have worked with the brand – which specialises in unwashed, untreated, raw denim as its base material. 

It follows dozens of Australian brand names entering administration since the start of 2020.

Even before the lockdown impact was felt, swimwear label Tiger Lilly, accessories retailer Collette, and stationery chain Kikki K were all placed into administration. 

Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis have also dropped like flies in the past year – resulting in heavy job losses. 

German supermarket chain Kaufland meanwhile pulled out of Australia this year, despite investing in a multi-million dollar Australian property empire in a bid to compete with Coles and Woolworths.

Australian chains are meanwhile considering shutting down stores as online sales skyrocket during the coronavirus lockdown. 

G-star first launched in 1989 with raw denim jeans that have not been washed or treated.

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