Alexandria Imex has bought the assets of Australian fashion retailer Grace Fashion - parent company to SES Fashions – and taken the collapsed brand to an online second chance: now, the firm sells its low-price women’s fashion through an online store.

SES Fashions went into administration on April, 22 last year, with debts said to be almost 12 million dollars. Stewart Free of Jirsch Sutherland, previous administrator of the company, says administrators shut down 19 stores and Alexandria Imex acquired the other 25, 23 of which are still operating.

Now, the retailer has made a comeback from voluntary administration, rolling out an online presence. “We were having trouble last year but we are still up and running,” assured SES to a concerned customer that wondered whether the new online presence will remain a stable feature of the company.

In this vein, the retail group added that “You may have noticed a number of shops closing down but we have kept some operational. The online business is a new opportunity for us and we hope it succeeds.”

Despite the confidence of SES on its new opportunity, industry experts are not hundred percent sold on the idea. Of this opinion is Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, who told ‘SmartCompany’ the goal of administration is to keep a business viable, but he believes SES will need to maintain its current store footprint to survive. “It’s hard to believe that over time they will rely on online store,” said Walker.

On a more positive note is David Gordon from Lowe Lippman, who pointed out the advantages that going online has for the troubled retailer, highlighting that “The important ongoing factor is that the new owner must understand the acquired brand’s attributes and ensure it maintains its feel and consumer loyalty.”


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