TM Lewin will close all stores and axe 600 jobs after collapsing

TM Lewin will close all stores and axe 600 jobs after collapsing into administration due to coronavirus crisis

  • The 122-year-old shirtmaker’s 66 shops will leave high street but online will stay
  • The company has blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the move to digital-only
  • It comes a month after the London-based firm was taken over by Torque Brands
  • It is the latest victim of crisis, following shopping centres owner Intu Properties

TM Lewin has become the latest retailer to collapse into administration, with 600 jobs axed.

The 122-year-old shirtmaker’s 66 shops, which also sell shoes, suits and ties, will disappear from the UK high street but its online platform will remain.

The firm blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the move to digital-only as it could not afford to pay rents after stores shut in March.

It is the latest retail victim of the crisis, following the owner of Britain’s biggest shopping centres Intu Properties which went under last week.

The 122-year-old shirtmaker’s 66 shops, which also sell shoes, suits and ties, will disappear from the UK high street but its online platform will remain (file photo)

A TM Lewin source told MailOnline an email was sent to staff 25 minutes before a Microsoft team meeting to tell them they were being made redundant.

The woman, who worked for the company, said the conference lasted four minutes with 110 staff on one call.

She said the meeting was held by the new owner of TM Lewin, Torque, with CEO James Doyan hosting it.

She added: ‘There was no chance for anyone to ask questions or have any say. We were told to mute ourselves and turn off our cameras for the meeting.’

Investor SCP Private Equity bought TM Lewin from private equity owner Bain Capital in May.

Resolve, which has been hired to restructure the business, said: ‘This acquisition secured the future of the brand at a time of unprecedented uncertainty within the retail sector.

‘After considerable review, and due to the many issues currently being experienced by high street retailers, it has been determined that the future of the TM Lewin brand will be online-only.’

A spokesman for the company told the Telegraph: ‘[The pandemic] has forced our hands to focus on a radical overhaul of the business model, rebuilding from the ground up in a fashion we deem fit for the years to come.

‘We are committed to selling quality tailoring to a global audience, but crucially in a financially sustainable fashion.

‘The decision to significantly reduce the scale of the business in order to preserve its future will regrettably result in job losses as a direct result of the closing of the store network as we right-size the business.’

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