The administrators of women’s fashion chain Cath Kidston have appointed CAPA to audit 70 sites across the business, after the retailer entered a pre-pack administration.

CAPA will be conducting a full accounts payable and property audit of sites Cath Kidston traded from around the UK, after the business was kept alive as an online-only retailer after the administration.

With around 950 staff, and more than 200 stores in 16 countries, Cath Kidston had been a long-established retailer of women’s fashion, home furnishings and beauty products.

But the business had been making a loss in the lead up to this year, due to rising operational costs and the general slowdown in UK retail.

These losses were the reason behind moves to seek new funding, a requirement that was accelerated and exacerbated when the lockdown enforced the closure of stores. When new funding could not be sought, the retailer sought the help of business recovery experts at Alvarez & Marsal to find a new buyer for the company.

After reviewing various options and discovering that a solvent sale was not possible, Mark Firmin and Richard Fleming, of Alvarez & Marsal, were appointed administrators on April 20, 2020, and were able to sell parts of the business to a connected party which will trade the company as an online-only retailer.

Alvarez & Marsal has now instructed CAPA, meaning CAPA’s auditors will inspect all 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.