Online fashion retailer Missguided calls in administrators

·2-min read

Online fashion retailer Missguided has called in administrators after failing to secure a rescue bid.

Administrators from Teneo were appointed on Monday after the company was issued with a winding-up petition by clothing suppliers who are owed millions of pounds.

Teneo's Gavin Maher said: "As we continue to see, the retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging.

"The joint administrators will now seek to conclude a sale of the business and assets, for which there continues to be a high level of interest from a number of strategic buyers."

About 140 jobs are thought to be at risk, with The Guardian citing a source as saying more than 80 people had immediately been made redundant.

Teneo said Missguided will continue to trade while a buyer of the business is sought.

Boohoo, a larger online fashion retailer, had been in talks to buy Missguided in a prepack administration deal.

JD Sports and ASOS are also thought to have shown some interest, but a deal was not made.

Missguided was founded by Nitin Passi in 2009 when he was just 26, and grew into one of Britain's biggest online-led fashion retailers, competing with the likes of ASOS and Boohoo.

Its journey was not without serious difficulties, however, including in 2017 when one of its Leicester-based suppliers was accused after an undercover investigation of paying workers less than the minimum wage.

In 2019, it faced scrutiny over the sale of a £1 bikini, but responded by saying that the clothing item had "cost us more to produce than £1 and we're absorbing the costs so we can offer it at an incredible price as a gift to our customers".

Missguided did open a handful of physical stores, including one at London's Westfield shopping centre, but decided to close them after deciding that their operating losses were too large to justify.