Retail

BRI Ferrier’s retail sector expertise covers the full retail supply chain. It includes work with fashion, electronics, consumer services, consumer durables, automotive, heavy machinery and furniture businesses, as well as supermarkets and other food retailers.

Our team comprises experienced, specialist chartered accountants, some of whom have been retailers themselves. They have experience with retail organisations of all sizes – from sole traders to iconic Australian and international brands. They also understand the latest retail issues and trends through ongoing participation in the industry and its interest groups.

By identifying a retail business’s pressure points, we determine its most profitable attributes, assess non-performing product lines and recalibrate the business strategy to reflect new realities.

Our team applies formal and informal techniques that return struggling retail operations to viability.

 

KEY PEOPLE

CASE STUDIES

King of Knives

The King of Knives Group – which sold knives and cookware in around 60 stores (including 14 franchisee operations) across Australia and New Zealand – struggled due to the tough retail climate. The group was burdened with unprofitable stores and cash flow pressure due to excessive rent and payroll costs. Ultimately, the financier withdrew its support, prompting an urgent need to restructure the business’s finances and operations. The group appointed BRI Ferrier as voluntary administrator and we rationalised the business to excise underperforming elements and leave a viable core operation. Through concurrent deeds of company arrangement incorporating a creditors’ trust, the business was returned to the directors as a solvent viable operation.

Herringbone

Herringbone – a group of 10 stores of ready-to-wear tailored men’s and women’s clothing established in 1997 – lacked sufficient capital to sustain its rapid growth. It appointed BRI Ferrier as voluntary administrator to assess the situation. We developed a deed of company arrangement that enabled the business to be restructured and sold to a German clothing brand. Secured creditors were repaid, employees kept their jobs and Herringbone continues operating.

Mothercare

ASX-listed retailer Mothercare Australia Limited faced financial distress after a proposed sale of the business failed. Mothercare Australia had 47 stores (trading under the Mothercare Australia, Kids Central, Early Learning Centre and Baby on a Budget brands) and more than 500 employees across Australia and New Zealand. BRI Ferrier was appointed as voluntary administrator of the company and its trading subsidiaries. As a sale of the business as a going concern was not possible, we sought to maximise recoveries for creditors. We traded the business over a 4-month period to sell down the stock profitably through a targeted, complex process involving teams in all states. Ultimately we realised in excess of $18 million for the stock, which funded the payment of all employee entitlements and a significant return to trade and secured creditors.

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