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Jeanswest enters voluntary administration due to online pressure

The Australian business of Hong Kong-owned apparel retailer Jeanswest has entered voluntary administration, due to the difficult trading conditions facing the clothing retail market Down Under. 

KPMG’s Peter Gothard and James Stewart have been appointed voluntary administrators for the 48-year-old business, which employs 988 people in 146 stores across Australia.

“Like many other retailers, the business has been challenged by current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition,” Stewart said. 

“The administration provides an opportunity for Jeanswest to restructure so as to better respond to the challenging Australian retail market.”

Jeanswest started out as an Australian company, opening its first store in Perth in 1972 and subsequently expanding onto the country’s east coast. Hong Kong company Glorious Sun bought the business in 1994, later selling the Australian arm to Howsea Limited, run by its chairman Charles Yeung and vice-chairman Yeung Chun Fan, in 2017.

Under Glorious Sun’s ownership, the brand expanded into Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mainland China. The administration process affects only the Jeanswest’s Australian operations.

Gothard said the business will continue to operate while the administrators conduct an “urgent” analysis. 

“The administrators will be looking at all options for the restructure or sale of this established Australian retail business, and are seeking urgent expressions of interest from parties interested in acquiring or investing in the business,” Gothard said. 

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