Idiosyncratic UK chain Cath Kidston calls in Administrators to try to sell the Business

A quirky store front for a quirky company Credit: just1snap flickr

IN 1993, Cath Kidston, cousin of TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp opened her first store in London’s trendy Holland Park offering her selection of vintage designs which appealed to some and was shunned by others.

From then on, the business expanded until it had 60 shops in the UK and 180 overseas and offered a wider selection of distinctive clothes, shoes, crockery, bags and other household items.

She had a flagship store in Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason and even opened four stores in China as well as branches in France and Spain.


In 2010 she sold a majority of shares to an Asian investment company but remained on board as Creative Director and when one of her designs was seen on Prince George it became an overnight sell out.

Sadly things have not gone well for the company and in the 2017/2018 financial year recorded a loss of £42.3 (€47.4) million which led to the closure of a number of outlets including those in Spain.

Now, the coronavirus crisis has effectively brought the company to its knees and with more than 900 employees in the UK already ‘stood down’ under the British government employment scheme it has called in Administrators in the hope of finding a buyer.

It’s a unique example of Britain’s quirky design nature and even Cath Kidston herself admitted that her work is a bit like Marmite, as you either love it or hate it.


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