Kiwi fashion stalwart, Kimberleys, has been placed into receivership, administered by BDO Christchurch. The brand has been around since 1983 and designed its own range as well as importing other brands.
Many comments have been posted on other news sources coverage of the receivership, mainly from former employees pointing to several problems within the brand revolving around high staff turnover, lack of direction and poor quality.
"The clothes were marketed towards 20 to 30 year old women, but the hefty price tags were more towards the 40+ range. From what I saw when I worked there it seems they didn't really know their market."
"I left there a couple of years ago. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time."
"I used to think they were great clothes till I worked there and saw the cost prices and quality problems."
"They didn't know their market. Some poorly made cheap brands targeted at young girls, then next to it a rack of higher priced imports...when I worked there I could see the problem clearly. Won't even mention their own brand which ripped off overseas labels."
"I worked there too. [Marilyn McLaughlan, the Managing Director and Designer] was very confused about the market she was targeting. She always wanted to be high end...This has been a long time coming."
"It makes me wonder how it was run because they were forever looking for staff and it was always managers and assistant managers they were advertising for."
"Last year Kimberleys let all staff go from our local store and with them went customer knowledge and service. I haven’t bought a thing from them since."
Kimberleys is the latest in a string of retailers who have struggled to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive retail space. David Lawrence and Marcs closed down earlier this year and Shanton and Identity in receivership in 2016. Along with these public cases, many designers have chosen to quietly close their doors when not making enough profit.
The difficulties in retail are not only hitting older, local brands, but fast fashion chains as well. Forever 21 is exiting Australia after finding little success in the market due to differing shopping habits of Australians from their American counterparts.
Kimberleys was contacted for comment.