• Moss Bros, Joules, White Stuff and Jones the Bootmaker all eyeing stores
  • Clutch of international retailers clamouring for Austin Reed’s Regent Street flagship
  • Administrator “confident” of finding buyers for retailer’s “strong” portfolio”

Moss Bros, Joules, White Stuff and Jones the Bootmaker are all circling Austin Reed’s store portfolio, Retail Week has learned.

The retailers are among a clutch of businesses eyeing the beleaguered fashion retailer’s estate after it slumped into administration yesterday.

Sources close to the business, which is owned by Alteri Investors, said there had already been “loads of interest” in Austin Reed’s estate, with about 30 parties sizing up all or parts of its portfolio.

Retail Week understands that formal menswear specialist Moss Bros is reviewing the portfolio of its premium rival as boss Brian Brick bids to accelerate his growth strategy for the business.

Joules, the retailer famous for its colourful clothes, fashion rival White Stuff and footwear specialist Jones – which is also owned by Alteri – are thought to be among the other businesses that have already submitted an interest in taking stores.

International interest

It is understood that a clutch of unnamed international retailers are also clamouring to secure Austin Reed’s flagship site on Regent Street.

Sources said the retailers were set to face stiff competition from the likes of Caffé Nero and telecommunications duo Vodafone and EE to secure stores, which are also running the rule of Austin Reed’s portfolio.

Confident of finding buyers

The administrator is said to be “confident” of finding buyers for stores, owing to its “strong portfolio in good market towns”.

Retail property consultancy GCW, which is advising administrators Alix Partners on Austin Reed’s property portfolio, declined to comment.