The administrators of the Oasis and Warehouse fashion chains have appointed CAPA to audit stores the businesses traded from around the UK, as another high street retailer fell victim to the effects of Covid-19.

CAPA, which will be conducting full property and accounts payable audits at 92 sites that the two chains occupied, was instructed by administrators at Deloitte.

As staples of high streets and shopping malls across the country, Oasis and Warehouse had employed around 1,800 staff, but similar challenges that all fashion retailers face had affected the group in the past year.

The chains had seen changes in customer behaviour, with more consumers shopping online instead of in store, along with pressure on margins due to competitors discounting, high business rates and minimum wage costs, followed by the enforced closure of all stores during lockdown.

Many of the group’s concession debtors extended payment terms during lockdown – exacerbating pressures on cashflow.

Ultimately, Rob Harding and Richard Hawes of Deloitte were appointed administrators on April 15 this year.

After selling the online brands and stock to Hilco, the administrators have now instructed CAPA, which means CAPA’s audit team will use bespoke software to conduct a forensic analysis of all property costs emanating from the stores the businesses operated from.

The auditors will inspect the data on rates, utility bills, and property service management costs, to uncover any anomalies or errors, before recovering any overpaid sums for the fashion chain’s creditors.

The team will also be inspecting all invoices, and information related to them, that were paid out and due to be paid out throughout the two chains. Any overpayments will again be recovered for the creditors, on a no-win, no-fee basis.