Jeanswest Gympie shuts doors early amid national collapse
GYMPIE’S Jeanswest store had shut its doors by about 3pm this afternoon as news broke that the iconic Australian retail chain had been put into administration nationwide, leaving almost 1000 staff at risk.
Lights remained on inside, but there was no sign of staff and phone calls to the Gympie Central Shopping Complex store went unanswered in a sombre sign of an uncertain future to come.
Workers in neighbouring stores said they had noticed the doors shut at around 3pm, with one saying a sign initially put up in the store window stated staff would be back by 3.45pm.
News Corp reported KPMG’s Peter Gothard and James Stewart had been appointed administrators to the clothing company, Jeanswest Corporation Pty Ltd, just before 3pm.
Jeanswest opened its first store in Perth in 1972 and launched in Queensland in 1985. It now employs 988 people in 146 stores across Australia.
The Jeanswest website lists its Gympie store as one of 28 stores statewide.
The report stated Jeanswest’s operations outside of Australia will not be impacted by the administration.
KPMG partner Peter Gothard said the company would continue to operate while the
administrators “conduct an urgent analysis of the business”.
“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,” he said.
James Stewart, KPMG’s retail restructuring practice leader, said it had been “challenged by
current tough market conditions and pressure from online competition”.
“The administration provides an opportunity for Jeanswest to restructure so as to better respond to the challenging Australian retail market,” he said.
Administrators are now searching for interested parties to acquire or recapitalise the business, per the News Corp report.
The first meeting of creditors will be held in Melbourne on January 28.