Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Nicholas Jermyn shuts two stores

Nicholas Jermyn chain in hands of voluntary administrators.
The New Zealand retailer, which specialises in business attire and accessories, went into voluntary administration last week. Photo / iStock
The New Zealand retailer, which specialises in business attire and accessories, went into voluntary administration last week. Photo / iStock

New Zealand shirt and suit chain Nicholas Jermyn is in the hands of voluntary administrators, who have already shut two stores.

The 10-year-old New Zealand retailer, which specialises in business attire and accessories, went into voluntary administration last week.

Co-administrator David Bridgman, of the firm PwC, said yesterday that the business had more than 100 creditors but would not say how much they were owed.

It was too early to say whether or not the business, which employs 35 people, would be sold as a going concern or could trade out of its financial difficulties.

The administrators had shut two outlets - one on Wellington's Willis St and another in the East Auckland suburb of Botany Downs - but Bridgman said the chain's other seven shops and the online store were trading as normal. Less than five people were made redundant as a result of the closures.

The business is owned by Shannon and Nick Harris, according to the Companies Office, and its website says it was founded "on a passion for the shirting of Jermyn St and the tailoring of Savile Row".

The apparel sector in New Zealand is a challenging environment and at least four chains went into receivership, liquidation or administration last year.

While a relatively low Kiwi dollar helps New Zealand retailers compete with online overseas giants, it also makes importing clothes more expensive.

Nick Harris, founder of Nicholas Jermyn, has just sent an email to customers, advising them of the voluntary administration.

"Please be assured that we remain open for business. While the Willis Street store in Wellington and Botany Town Centre store will be closing all of our other stores remain open, so too our online shopping channel. Our high levels of service and commitment to quality remain resolute.

This was a difficult decision but one which presents us with the best opportunity to recover from a sustained period of challenging trading. The challenges were due to the growth in international online purchasing from New Zealand and our inability to successfully negotiate lease exits for a small number of our least successful stores.

Our staff have been fully briefed. Like us they are determined to roll up their sleeves, focus on our customers and in doing so position us for future success.

We would certainly appreciate your ongoing support which will be critical in helping us live to see another day. "

- NZ Herald

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