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Bevilles has entered voluntary administration
Bevilles has entered voluntary administration

Bevilles jewellers enters administration

Jewellery retail chain Bevilles has entered voluntary administration, with a proposed business restructure being put forward to creditors. 
As previously reported by Jeweller, the 80-year-old business announced a major rebranding late last year that included the roll out of “new look” stores focused on a smaller jewellery-only format. Under the model, all giftware would be phased out. 

Bevilles CEO Michelle Beville explained the new strategy – piloted in one store at Highpoint Shopping Centre, Victoria, and another in Sydney, New South Wales – was the right decision for the business going forward, as demonstrated by the two trial stores. 

Michelle Beville, CEO of Bevilles
Michelle Beville, CEO of Bevilles
She added, however, "We have been constrained by external factors that have not allowed us to move to the new formats as quickly as planned.

“The decision to enter voluntary administration was brought about by a number of factors, including a changing retail environment in which the current business model wasn’t viable due to higher operating costs and customers seeking specialist boutique experiences.”

Beville said a restructure plan would be proposed to creditors, and assessed by appointed administrators PPB Advisory. 

“Despite this being a very difficult decision, we believe this path offers the best possible outcomes for everyone. Under our proposed restructure, it is our family’s intent to reacquire the business and retain our 80-year-old brand.” Beville’s grandparents, Leo and Rae, founded the business, opening their first store in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall in 1934. 

Store closures and redundancies
Decisions regarding store closures and redundancies would also be made during the administration period. 

Beville confirmed to Jeweller that its store in Doncaster, Victoria had ended its lease and closed today. She expected that further closures would be announced in coming weeks.

“We are not sure of the exact number [of store closures] at this point in time. Stores that will be closing will be identified during the administration process. Our aim is to minimise closures and retain as many employees as possible,” Beville said.

Prior to the announcement, Bevilles operated 27 stores: 17 in Victoria; and 10 located across Sydney and Adelaide. 

PPB Advisory partner David McEvoy stated that he intended to keep “most of the stores” trading as normal, while the Melbourne-based retailer’s viability, sale and restructuring options were assessed.

Beville also explained that while redundancies have not yet been made, it was forecasted that approximately 47 full-time and 200 part-time and casual positions would be cut. About 230 of its 477 staff members would be retained under the proposed restructure.

Gift cards will remain valid during the administration period; however, Eternity Club loyalty points and credit notes have been suspended. They will be reinstated if Beville’s proposed restructure succeeds.

The first creditors meeting will be held on 11 May 2014, with Beville saying she hoped a decision regarding the chain’s future would be reached shortly after. 

The news follows a number of local jewellery business closures in the past year, including former Pandora Australian president Karin Adcock’s House of Brands that ceased trading last month and Perth-based supplier Seivers, which abruptly closed its three offices and was placed in administration in January. 

High profile businesses like bead brand Chamilia also closed its doors in early 2013, and Tuskc announced it had ended operations in September 2013.



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