Covid-19: Quiz to restructure store business as consumers shift to online

Fashion retailer QUIZ has outlined plans to restructure its store portfolio in light of changing consumer behaviour during Covid-19, including a shift to eCommerce. The group has elected to put its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kast, which operates Quiz’s 82 standalone stores in the UK and Ireland, into administration.

Another of Quiz’s subsidiary’s, Zandra, will repurchase certain assets of Kast via the administrators for £1.3 million; 822 of Kast's 915 employees will transfer over, although none of the store leases will. Quiz said that once the deal has been completed, it expects to renegotiate lease arrangements for the majority of the standalone stores. KPMG has been appointed as Kast’s administrators.

The omnichannel brand aims to “operate an economically viable store portfolio alongside its online, UK concession and international channels”. It noted that the trading pressures caused by the enforced closures of all its UK and Ireland stores since 22 March due to lockdown measures, alongside the shift to eCommerce during the crisis, has meant its store portfolio “is not financially viable in its current structure”.

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

“We believe that with an appropriately structured store estate in combination with our capital light concession model, international channel and online focus Quiz will be better positioned for all its stakeholders over the long term."

The group added that it has £5.93 million of cash available to it as well as additional bank facilities of £1.75 million which expire on 31 July 2020.

Quiz reopened its online delivery service in mid-April having temporarily stopped orders at the end of March over fears for the safety of warehouse staff during the pandemic.