Aquascutum falls into administration
After more than 150 years of service, Aquascutum, the UK-based retailer that provided wardrobes for leading figures such as Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, has gone into administration. Harold Tillman, the owner of the label since 2009, failed to turnaround the heavy losses it had been obtaining.
FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator to the company which now seeks to find a buyer for the antiquated brand, and Hong-Kong company YGM is leading the charge. YGM currently holds the right to sell Aquascutum products in the Asian market after Mr Tillman made the deal with the company for £13.7million.
Many believe the move was responsible for Aquascutum’s failure to produce profits from their products as the majority of the business was in Asia. This led to the company undertaking costly actions of marketing, designing and showcasing cat-walk shows without the Asian royalties.
On his first review from September 2009 to February 2010, Mr Tillman saw a loss of £6.4million which, despite the negative figures, was seen as an improvement because the business had seen a loss of £16.7million in the hand of its previous owners.
In a bid to revive Aquascutum as a leading brand, Mr Tillman put in £30million into the company of which £12.5m came from Jaeger – the company now sold to Jon Moulton in a £20million rescue deal.
Aquascutum was founded in 1851 by Mayfair tailor John Emary, and was well known for developing a new style of trench coats during the earlier half of 1900. During its time, it has dressed celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant along with the first female prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher.
Following its collapse into administration, 250 jobs are now at risk.