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‘Deep sadness’ as popular Fife clothing store will not reopen

Quiz is located on Kirkcaldy High Street pictured).
Quiz is located on Kirkcaldy High Street pictured).

A popular Fife clothing shop has permanently closed after its owner entered administration today.

Quiz on Kirkcaldy’s High Street is one of 11 branches of the womenswear retailer that will not reopen.

The branches at Dundee’s Overgate Shopping Centre and Dunfermline’s Kingsgate Centre have been saved following an internal restructure of the Quiz group of companies.

Quiz-owned Kast Retail Limited, which operated the leaseholds 82 Quiz Clothing retail stores, entered administration on Wednesday morning.

The majority of its assets were sold to Zandra Retail Limited, another Quiz subsidiary, including 822 staff.

However, Kirkcaldy is one of the sites not included in the deal.

The closure of the 11 shops will mean a total of 93 redundancies.

Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden of KPMG LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of Kast Retail Limited (“KRL”).

A statement said: “Like many high street fashion retailers, over recent years KRL has experienced trading difficulties, including falling footfall, declining average customer spend levels and rising operating costs.

“In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and shortly prior to implementation of the UK Government lockdown on March 23, the directors elected to close all of KRL’s stores, with the majority of staff being placed on furlough.

“To fund trading losses, KRL has received financial support from the wider Quiz Group.

“Over recent months, KRL’s directors have undertaken an exhaustive process to explore options to preserve the KRL business, including Covid-19 Government support measures.

“Despite these extensive efforts, the directors concluded, ultimately, that KRL should be placed into administration.”

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring for KPMG UK, added: “A combination of a highly challenging environment for bricks and mortar retailers during recent years and the Covid-19 lockdown have proven impossible for KRL to overcome.

“Despite their best efforts, the directors of KRL concluded that an Administration of KRL was unavoidable.

“First and foremost, our efforts will be devoted to assisting redundant employees with claims, including supporting their interaction with relevant Government agencies.

“We are already engaging with relevant employee support bodies.

“We are pleased to secure the sale to Zandra, as this will safeguard the KRL business, whilst protecting 822 jobs, and we wish Zandra every success for the future.”

Tarak Ramzan, chief executive officer of Quiz Group, said the administration move was taken with “deep sadness”.

He said: “The significant economic uncertainty coupled with the challenging economics of operating stores on traditional leases meant that, in order to ensure a sustainable future for the Quiz Group, we had to take this decision to place the subsidiary which operates our stores into administration.

“We continue to believe that stores, with appropriate property costs and flexible lease terms, can continue to be a relevant pillar in our omni-channel model and we will be seeking to re-open Quiz stores where we believe it is prudent and economic to do so.

“The Group remains confident in the relevance of the Quiz brand and its omni-channel model to deliver future sustainable growth opportunities both in the UK and internationally.”

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