Job losses in East of England as Cath Kidston permanently shuts

Cath Kidston is to permanently to shut its 60 UK stores with the loss of more than 900 jobs.

The fashion retailer confirmed its stores will not reopen once the coronavirus lockdown is over, after the company's owners secured a deal to buy back its brand and online operations following its fall into administration.

In the East of England, Cath Kidston has stores in St Neots, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Norwich. The brand was established in 1993 and became synonymous with floral patterns and pastel shades.

Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), which has held a stake in the retailer since 2014, said it will buy the online business, brand and wholesale arm from administrators Alvarez & Marsal.

Credit: Cath Kidston bags

It said the move will result in the "cessation of the retail store network".

The company confirmed that only 32 of its 940 staff will see their jobs secured as part of the deal.

Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of Covid-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form.

Melinda Paraie, chief executive officer of Cath Kidston

The MP for Cambridge, which has a Cath Kidston branch, said he sympathises with his constituents that will lose their jobs.

The government needs to be thinking about how it will revitalise high streets and city centres in the recovery so Cambridge can keep its unique mix of quirky independent and chain stores.

Daniel Zeichner, Cambridge MP (Lab)

Cath Kidston sales will now be online only.

While we are disappointed that the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in the cessation of the retail store network and impacted many employees, we are pleased to have secured a future for a number of Cath Kidston staff and the Cath Kidston brand in the form of a viable digital business.

BPEA spokesman