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Coronavirus: Oasis and Warehouse collapse with 1,800 more job losses

LONDON, ENGLAND- MAY 13: A general view of the Oasis fashion retail outlet window in Argyll Street on May 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
Oasis has collapsed. (John Keeble/Getty Images)

The fashion chains Oasis and Warehouse are set to disappear from UK high streets, with 1,800 more redundancies announced on Thursday.

The company behind the brands had fallen into administration on 15 April, with administrators Deloitte warning of the “devastating effect” of the coronavirus pandemic on the retail industry.

Online trading had continued as Deloitte looked at the costs of maintaining the firm in the short-term, ahead of a sale or potential re-opening after the lockdown. But logistical problems forced the companies to abandon online sales, and Deloitte said in a statement on Thursday it had been “unable to rescue” any part of the group as a going concern.

The two brands’ 92 branches and 437 concessions will not reopen, with “certain stock and intellectual property assets” to be sold off to Hilco Capital.

READ MORE: Oasis and Warehouse chief looks to save ‘iconic brands we love’

Rob Harding, Joint Administrator at Deloitte, said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce a sale of the business has not been possible and that we are announcing so many redundancies today. This is a very difficult time for the group’s employees and other key stakeholders and we will do everything we can to support them through this.”

202 staff had already been made redundant earlier in the month, with the rest currently furloughed under the government’s scheme aimed at protecting jobs during the crisis.

They became the latest in a string of household names to hit the wall as COVID-19 has exacerbated the woes of an already ailing high street.

Debenhams went into administration for the second time in a year last week. Its 142 stores were already closed and most of the 22,000 members of staff on furlough before the owners pushed the business into administration, according to PA.

The government’s lockdown on retailers classed as “non-essential” threatens the survival of many firms, with their income collapsing overnight and no end of the tunnel in sight. But it hopes its unprecedented package of state-guaranteed loans, business rate holidays, grants and wage support can help keep many companies afloat to ride out the crisis.

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