Victoria’s Secret UK has gone into administration, leaving more than 800 jobs at risk.
The lingerie retailer, which has 25 stores across the UK, has hired administrators from Deloitte after being impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.
The insolvency firm said it will conduct a “light touch” administration at the retailer, which currently has 785 employees on furlough, while it tries to find a potential buyer.
Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “This is yet another blow to the UK high street and a further example of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the entire retail industry.
“The effect of the lockdowns, combined with broader challenges facing bricks and mortar retailers, has resulted in a funding requirement for this business, resulting in today’s administration.”
It appears that Victoria’s Secret had been struggling financially before the pandemic.
In May, private equity vehicle Sycamore Partners pulled out of a $525 million (£407 million) deal to take a 55 per cent stake in Victoria’s Secret.
Mr Harding added: “We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to assess all options available for the future of the business.
“As administrators we’d like to thank them and all of the employees for their support, at what we appreciate is a difficult time.”
Victoria’s Secret’s online business is not owned by Victoria’s Secret UK and will continue operating as usual, meaning that the business can continue trading and give Deloitte time to sell off assets or reduce costs. The administrators said they aim to get the firm out of administration.
The lingerie brand is just the latest in a long line of businesses that have gone bust during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While many have managed to stay afloat by using government support, several businesses have been forced to call in administrators, including Debenhams, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley.