A well-established British fashion business, Amanda Wakeley, has recently fallen into administration due to the ongoing global pandemic. In an attempt to salvage the company, AW Retail Ltd, the parent company of Amanda Wakeley, has appointed joint administrators to find a new owner. However, it remains uncertain whether the business will be able to continue operating or if it will be forced to shut down completely. The goal of the administrators is to maximize outcomes for the company’s creditors. The e-commerce platform and a dedicated team of employees are currently assisting the administrators in developing a strategy to achieve this goal.

While there is a possibility that Amanda Wakeley could continue operating as an online-only business, there is still a looming risk of closure. Despite efforts from the Amanda Wakeley team and significant interest, they were unable to find a buyer prior to entering administration. The struggles faced by the company can largely be attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. With its focus on special occasions and eveningwear, Amanda Wakeley suffered greatly from the cancellation of events such as weddings, garden parties, and red carpet gatherings.

Over the past 14 months, the company has faced significant challenges. The flagship store located in Mayfair and concessions in upmarket department stores were closed for extended periods of time. Although the webstore and premium teleshopping channels were able to continue trading, the prolonged closures resulted in the permanent closure of the flagship store and concessions earlier this year. Additionally, insufficient working capital has hindered the company’s ability to execute its intended strategy.

Amanda Wakeley expressed deep gratitude towards the dedicated efforts of the staff and Smith & Williamson during the pre-administration phase. They worked tirelessly to maximize sales and minimize the impact on creditors. Wakeley also extended her thanks to AGC Equity Partners, the leading equity investor, for their unwavering support and expertise since 2012. She acknowledged the honor she felt in designing for their esteemed customers.

The collapse of Amanda Wakeley serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the fashion industry during the pandemic. Even well-known and relatively small operations have had to confront the drastic changes in consumer behavior and the limitations on social gatherings. As the industry continues to adapt to the new normal, businesses within the fashion sector must find innovative ways to appeal to customers and ensure their survival in a post-pandemic world.

Useful links:
1. BBC: Amanda Wakeley falls into administration
2. The Guardian: Amanda Wakeley enters administration