Is Cath Kidston closing down? What we know as Next buys the retailer

Here's what we know about the future of the company...

The front of a Cath Kidston shop with a sign saying 'All stock reduced' in the window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shoppers are asking if Cath Kidston is closing down, after UK retailer Next buys the chain for £8.5 million.

Recent months have seen the cost of living crisis and the long-lasting effects of the pandemic take a toll on the high street, with stationery chain Paperchase closing down for good, card retailer Clintons shutting some stores and Shoezone closing more sites too. And now Cath Kidston has been forced to closed stores too, after falling into administration for the second time in two years.

Known for its floral and polka dot designs, Cath Kidston has been a household name since it was first founded in 1993. Many shoppers will be sad to see the final few stores leave, and others are eager to know if Cath Kidston is closing for good.

Is Cath Kidston closing down?

The joint administrators have confirmed in a statement that Cath Kidston will be closing its remaining four stores in London, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks and York. The shops will remain open to trade down stock before closing permanently.

The administrators said that there "will be redundancies", as currently 125 people are employed across the four stores, but did not confirm how many employees would be immediately affected.

The front of a Cath Kidston store with a sign saying 'Store closing' in the window

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The news comes just after British clothing retailer Next Plc confirmed it had bought the struggling retailer from its administrators for £8.5 million., and three years after Cath Kidston previously fell into administration, with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs and almost of all of its stores.

Next also bought collapsed online furniture retailer and clothing chain Joules last year.

Why is Cath Kidston closing?

Cath Kidston collapsed into administration in 2020 and was forced into insolvency. Like many retailers, it was hit by the pandemic. 

The company said at the time it was permanently closing all 60 of its UK stores under a rescue deal with its Hong Kong-based owner, Baring Private Equity Asia, though it continued trading online and via its wholesale and franchise businesses.

A statement on the Cath Kidston website reads: "Our brand faced unprecedented change and challenge over the last few months and as we transitioned into a new chapter of our 27-year journey, we sadly had to make the impossibly difficult decision to close our stores. With our whole hearts, we thank everyone who has visited and loved our stores over the years."

In 2022, Cath Kidston was bought by restructuring specialist Hilco. But just eight months later, Hilco - which also owns Homebase and HMV - was reported to be exploring a sale.

Will Cath Kidston still be online?

It is not yet clear what will happen to Cath Kidston's online shop. It has been reported that the domain will be licenced back to the administrators for up to 12 weeks to clear stock, before a re-launch under Next's ownership.

Next will buy the brand name, domain names and intellectual property of Cath Kidston.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.