The UK arm of failed Canadian footwear retailer Aldo is now in administration, the filing coming just a few weeks after the Canadian parent company filed for bankruptcy protection.
Although its UK shops had already been closed, five of its branches have been earmarked for permanent closure and the administrators (RSM) are looking at options for the remaining eight shops.
While the coronavirus dealt a crushing blow to the company, it had already been facing “historic profitability challenges” and “unprecedented collapse in retail spending”, issues that drove other UK retail chains under, including Laura Ashley, Oasis/Warehouse and Cath Kidston.
A month ago, the company filed for creditor protection in Canada and the US, as well as in Switzerland, and completely quit the Irish market, axing its four physical shops there and the Irish website. The UK failure comes after it posted a British loss of more than £5 million last year on sales of £29 million. It had already closed four UK shops in 2019.
Of course, there's always the chance that the company could return to the Irish market and move back to an expansion phase in the UK in the future.
Remember, the administrators are mulling options for those other eight shops. And the UK website is to remain open, as well its concessions in Selfridges, House of Fraser and Debenhams, and its e-concession via Asos and Amazon. So it’s clearly not game over for the brand in Britain.
Aldo hasn’t hinted at any future plan so far, nor whether it would want to buy back its failed British arm. But the parent firm remains bullish on its overall prospects. The company said it “continues to believe in the strength of its company and brands” and will continue as a “global brand”, operating in over 100 countries.