Next acquires Cath Kidston brand for £8.5m, 125 jobs at risk

Next has announced an £8.5 million deal to buy the branding of embattled British retailer Cath Kidston after it fell into administration for the second time in two years.

In a brief statement, Next company secretary Ian Blackwell confirmed the acquisition of "the brand name, domain names and intellectual property of CK Acquisitions Ltd from the administrators for consideration of £8.5 million."

In addition, the retailer's web domain will be licenced back to the administrators for up to 12 weeks to clear stock.

The four remaining Cath Kidston stores in London, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks and York will be closed down by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers once stock is sold off, putting around 125 jobs at risk.

Founded in 1993, Cath Kidston previously was forced into insolvency and filed for administration in 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, it operated 60 stores and employed over 1,000 staff.

It was subsequently bought by retail investor Hilco Capital in June 2022, but the group was unable to turn the brand's fortunes around and started exploring a sale last month.

For Next, this is the latest purchase of a prominent UK retailer out of administration to bolster its portfolio. The company announced similar brand and IP deals to acquire clothing chain Joules and online homeware retailer in late 2022.

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