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Matches is for sale a second time in three months

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Matches in London Credits: Shaun James Cox / Matches

Administrators are actively seeking a buyer for troubled retailer Matches, which recently faced an abrupt closure under the new ownership of Frasers Group. While the brand will continue its operations through its website and three London stores during the search for potential buyers, administrators from Teneo Financial Advisory Ltd. confirmed the immediate layoff of 273 employees, impacting the head office in London, reported WWD. The remaining staff on the shop floor and online will continue their roles while the search for a buyer progresses.

Matches experienced a decline in demand over the past year, attributed to well-known pressures on discretionary spending influenced by high inflation and interest rates. Despite additional funding after Frasers' acquisition in December 2023, trading failed to improve, prompting the company's directors to place it into administration. Talks regarding deals or final payment terms with vendors have not commenced yet, reported WWD.

One potential buyer may be Next plc, known for its strong clothing, accessories, and home business. The company has a reputation for acquiring distressed assets but like Frasers Group has little experience with luxury.

Frasers initiated the administration process two months after acquiring Matches for 52 million pounds from Apax Partners. Matches' fiscal year ending January 31, 2023, saw its sales fall 1.7 percent to 380.1 million pounds, with losses nearly doubling from 39.8 million pounds to 70.9 million pounds.

Frasers Group