Quiz restructures store portfolio to survive crisis

Quiz has revealed plans to restructure its store portfolio in response to the shift to e-commerce during the Coronavirus lockdown.

The fashion retailer will put its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kast - which operates the 82 standalone stores in the UK and Ireland - into administration with KPMG.

Another of Quiz’s subsidiaries, Zandra, will then repurchase certain assets of Kast via the administrators for £1.3 million. This means 822 of Kast's 915 employees will transfer over, although none of the store leases will.

Quiz said that once the transaction completes, it expects to renegotiate lease arrangements for the majority of the standalone stores.

A statement explained that the omnichannel brand aims to “operate an economically viable store portfolio alongside its online, UK concession and international channels”, adding that trading pressures caused by the enforced closures of all its UK and Ireland stores since 23 March, meant its store portfolio was "not financially viable in its current structure”.

Chief executive Tarak Ramzan commented: “We continue to believe that stores, with appropriate property costs and flexible lease terms, can continue to be a relevant pillar in our omnichannel model and we will be seeking to re-open Quiz stores where we believe it is prudent and economic to do so.

“We believe that with an appropriately structured store estate in combination with our capital light concession model, international channel and online focus Quiz will be better positioned for all its stakeholders over the long term."

Quiz has £5.93 million of cash available, as well as additional bank facilities of £1.75 million which expire on 31 July.

The retailer reopened its online delivery service in mid-April, having temporarily stopped orders at the end of March due to concerns for the safety of warehouse staff.

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