SPIRALLING costs in a tough retail climate have claimed another scalp as the 80-year-old jewellery group, Bevilles, falls into voluntary administration.The family-owned group which is based in Melbourne warned there would be store closures, with up to 250 of its 477 employees expected to be made redundant. It has 17 of its 27 stores in Victoria, with the rest in Sydney and Adelaide.
Chief executive Michelle Beville, whose grandparents founded Bevilles in 1934, said the group had been working to trim store sizes in a move that would cut rent costs and staffing requirements.
But complications around leases and the resizing program meant the company had been unable to roll out the smaller format quickly.
“We have been trying very hard to restructure the business from a cost perspective, but leases are a big part of the costs.”
Ms Beville said the Beville family had proposed a restructure plan to the administrators, PPB Advisory, which would see the family buy back a number of the stores. The stores would then be converted as quickly as possible to the smaller-format model, which does not stock giftware lines.
Ms Beville said two smaller stores launched in Highpoint shopping centre and in Sydney last year had been well received.
The group’s creditors are mainly suppliers both in Australia and overseas.
Administrators are expected to make a decision by the start of May.
Source: Jane Harper