The joint administrators of upscale luggage brand Antler have sold their online retail business and assets to an ATR group firm. ATR is the holding company of fashion entrepreneur Michael Lewis who had originally acquired the brand in February just before the pandemic hit.
The deal does not include Antler’s 18 stores, however. Founded in 1914, the brand also operated a concession before falling into administration in May as a result of COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
A number of staff retained by the joint administrators to assist the brand’s online operations have been transferred to ATR as part of the transaction. It has been previously estimated that more than 164 of the company’s 199 employees have been made redundant.
Commenting on the transaction, Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this deal which safeguards the future of this storied and iconic brand. With travel restrictions now easing, ATR is in a strong position to be able to take the Antler business forward.”
Amber Spencer-Holmes, chief marketing officer at Antler, added: “Antler holds a unique position in the market, designing contemporary luggage and travel accessories with the quality and reliability expected of a brand with over 100 years of expertise. We remain an ambitious and highly motivated team, and with a fresh new website launching imminently, we’re confident Antler has the positioning, product development plans, and digital-first strategy in place to secure a successful future.”
Antler was doing well before the coronavirus crisis, but store closures and travel restrictions had a “profound” impact on the business, administrators have said. Considered one of the most well-known luggage brands in the world, its suitcases are stocked in big-name retailers like John Lewis and Selfridges.