Shirt shop TM Lewin to close 66 stores and go online only

British shirt shop TM Lewin will close its 66 stores and go online only, resulting in job cut for around 600 employees.
TM Lewin store goes digital onlyThe online business will be sold to Torque Brands, an acquisition arm of Stonebridge Private Equity, in a pre-pack administration.

“We have been able to save the online business of the British retail brand at a time when the High Street is experiencing such difficulties and many brands may disappear completely,” said Cameron Gunn, senior partner at restructuring firm ReSolve.

Founded in 1898, the menswear retailer had been bought by private equity firm Stonebridge Capital Partners from Bain Capital in May, with its future uncertain as Britain’s coronavirus lockdown closed all non-essential stores from late March until June.

Torque Brands said that TM Lewin had not been a viable going concern in its old format, with the business unable to sustain rental agreements.

“With all stores still remaining closed due to social distancing guidelines, our customers have been unable to shop in store for the past 3+ months,” a spokeswoman for Torque Brands said.

“This has forced our hands to focus on a radical overhaul of the business model.”

Department store chain Debenhams and fashion brands Oasis and Warehouse are among the well-known British high street businesses to have fallen into financial difficulties during the lockdown.

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