Whatever happened to Coast London?

It wasn’t that long ago the brand had a premium store in Westfield Sydney as well as a concession inside Myer. I loved Coast due to its high quality fabrics and excellent tailoring. I considered it to be in the same class as Reiss and Karen Millen.

As a result, I have several great pieces in my wardrobe including this corset style top. But sadly, Coast became the latest casualty of the UK high-street crisis last year and closed all its stores.

However, its 145 UK department-store concessions (this didn’t include Australia) were sold to sister brand Karen Millen.

According to a report in The Guardian, “The business had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear,” said Mike Denny, one of the joint administrators.

As part of the administration deal, Karen Millen bought the website and department-store concession arm, but not its UK or overseas stores.

Karen Millen’s chief executive, Beth Butterwick, who described Coast as a “much-loved” fashion brand, said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family. Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”

Coast was owned by Aurora Fashions, which also owns retailers Oasis and Warehouse. The group is in turn owned by the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which also owns Karen Millen.

 

Claire Moffat

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