Meccano menswear is the latest retailer to face trouble, being placed in voluntary administration this morning.

Director Vere Sharma, who bought the business in April 2016, said he was disappointed but the decision had not been made lightly.

"I'm committed to the clothing industry, and have been for 30 years," he said.

Despite an enormous amount of effort from hard working staff, Sharma said Meccano was unable to adapt fast enough to what had been a trying time for many mall-based retailers.

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The menswear retailer specialised in everyday clothing.

De Vere investments also owns several other fashion labels including Ruby and Liam. Sharma said his other business dealings were not affected by issues with Meccano.

The menswear retailer appointed KordaMentha partners Grant Graham and Neale Jackson as administrators.

Jackson said all Meccano stores would remain open over this period while it looked for a buyer.

"Having just been appointed, we are seeking urgent expressions of interest for the business assets and working closely with the management team to quickly establish a way forward for the business," Jackson said.

The business has about 60 staff nationwide across 12 stores as well as its online business.

KordaMentha said voluntary administration allowed the company to continue trading while creditors were involved in the formal process to consider the best way forward.

At the time Sharma purchased the company, he said he was looking forward to continuing to build the Meccano brand, particularly its online offering.

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"We're committed to evolving and strengthening Meccano and ensuring it remains relevant and competitive in today's market," Sharma said.

"Though it's a challenging and dynamic time for the retail industry, with the growth of online sales and increased competition from New Zealand and offshore, we believe that if you do something with passion and focus it will succeed."

Former Meccano owners Dai and Cheryl Endicott-Davies said at the time they were pleased the company had remained under New Zealand ownership.

Fashion designer Andrea Moore was the first retailer this year to announce it was going into liquidation. Photo/NZH
Fashion designer Andrea Moore was the first retailer this year to announce it was going into liquidation. Photo/NZH

"Meccano has worked with De Vere as a trusted supplier for more than 10 years, so we believe that the business is in safe hands," they said.

Meccano is the sixth retailers to face trouble in the space of a year, following Kimberleys, Top Retail, David Lawrence, Marcs and most recently Andrea Moore.

At the time when Moore announced the business was in liquidation, retail commentators were quick to point out the difficult environment in the sector.

"It is just a really competitive market out there," said Retail NZ general manager Greg Harford.

"You have domestic competitors, relatively low barriers to entry and then you have massive competition from offshore, and it's that offshore competition that is really driving a lot of change in the clothing market," he said.

Another issue was New Zealand's GST laws which allowed overseas retailers to ship to New Zealand without having to pay the 10 per cent duties tax and 15 per cent GST that local retailers had to.

It's something Harford said retailers had been campaigning to have changed.

Meccano has stores in Westfield Albany, Westfield Manukau City, Northwest Shopping Centre, St Lukes, Lynn Mall, Centreplace Hamilton, Te Awa Hamilton, Bayfair Shopping Centre, Northlands Christchurch, The Palms and Westfield Riccarton Christchurch as well as Meridian Mall Dunedin.

Its head office is in Auckland.