Frasers Group to Shutter Matchesfashion

Frasers Group is putting Matchesfashion into administration, just over two months after the retail giant acquired the struggling luxury e-tailer for £52 million ($66.6 million). The news was first reported by Sky News.

Frasers Group originally bought Matchesfashion (which rebranded to Matches late last year) to increase its position in luxury, but brands have begun to sever ties with Matches as some of them have not received payments for months, according to the Sky News report.

“Whilst Matches’ management team has tried to find a way to stabilise the business, it has become clear that too much change would be required to restructure it, and the continued funding requirements would be far in excess of amounts that the Group considers to be viable,” Frasers Group said in a statement. “In light of this, Frasers has been informed that the directors of Matches have taken the decision to put the Matches group into administration. Frasers remains committed to the luxury market and its brand partners.”

Matches, which was founded as a brick-and-mortar store in the 1980s, sold more than 500 brands, including Balenciaga and Gucci on its platform. In 2017, private equity firm Apax Partners acquired Matches at a reported $1 billion valuation. But Matches’ losses soon began to mount as the costs to attract customers online increased and more brands began to sell on their own e-commerce sites, competing directly with multi-brand platforms.

In 2022, the company hired former ASOS chief executive Nick Beighton as its new leader to grow the business but those efforts fizzled. Matches ended fiscal 2023 with £40 million ($44 million) in losses on the basis of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, up from £25 million in the previous year. Its sales also dropped to £380 million during the same period.

Stay tuned to BoF for updates on this developing story.

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