Australian menswear retailer Roger David folds, store closures to come

Australian menswear retailer Roger David entered into voluntary administration on Thursday, announcing the company could no longer cope with the influx of international competitors and the fast evolution of online shopping.

Roger David is the latest fashion retailer to fold in Australia on fierce international competition - Roger David

The Melbourne-based company said in a statement early Thursday morning that an immediate national closing down sale will commence, after being placed in the hands of administrator firm KordaMentha.

"Roger David, like many other fashion retailers, has been buffeted by global competition, stagnant sales and rising fixed costs," Craig Shepard, one of the appointed KordaMentha administrators, said in press statement.

"The company has been exploring all options, including a sale of the business, but has been unable to find an alternative to administration."

Founded some 70 years ago, Roger David, which operates the Roger David, RDX and Stray brands -- has a long retail history in Australia, and remains family-owned by the Rogers since 1942.

At its peak, it was once the third-biggest men's fashion retailer in Australia with more than 100 stores across major capitals and cities. In recent years, directors had begun to shutter underperforming stores, particularly in regional areas, bringing its store count to 57 and 300 employees.

"The directors understand the doors will remain open and it will be business as usual for the upcoming peak retail period in an effort to maximise the options for the business," continued KordaMentha, who said the first meeting with creditors will be October 30.

"Despite the directors’ best efforts with the business, it simply could not compete with the influx of multinational retailers and the rapid, global evolution of online shopping."

The Roger David collapse comes on the back of the retail troubles of fellow Australian fashion and accessories in 2018. In May, women's apparel and innerwear maker Metalicus was placed in administration, alongside Esprit which announced it would shutter all its Australian stores that same month. 

Prior to that, Oroton was saved from administration in March.

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