Melbourne-based upmarket stationery retailer Kikki.K has announced it has entered voluntary administration. The company employs 450 people across 65 stores in Australia, including two standalone stores in the UK, in Covent Garden and Guildford, and stores in New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In a statement founder Kristina Karlsson announced the company would enter voluntary administration:
“It is with profound regret and sadness that we take this action. This business began with a young girl’s dream 20 years ago, and became an international success story with customers in over 150 countries.”
Co-founder and CEO Paul Lacy said all efforts had been made to save the business, including a recent potential partnership with a “big global business” which had fallen through. He added: “We ran out of time and had no choice but to place the company into external administration.”
Lacy also cited ‘structural change’ as shoppers increasingly buy online, and also referred to the ‘perfect storm’ of conditions in Australia leading to the shutdown, including feeling the impact of Brexit in the UK, the devastating bushfire season and the spread of coronavirus.
For the time being the business will continue to run as usual while its future is determined, although the UK online store is currently closed, “as our team work through unprecedented shipping delays.”
“The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging of our lives but we remain determined to find the right new partner to continue chasing our dream, so we can get back on track for all the people including our wonderful team who rely in some way on this beautiful brand,” Karlsson said.
Kikki.K’s appointed receivers Barry Wight and Bruno Secatore at Cor Cordis, said that the administrators J.P. Downey & Co are urgently working with management to plan a restructure of the business while investigating possible sale options.
Kikki.K has stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as the two UK shops, and sells online to 140 countries worldwide.