Online clothing retailer Missguided is on the brink of collapse after receiving a liquidation petition from clothing suppliers who owe millions of pounds.
The fast fashion company, which made headlines with its £1 bikini three years ago, is said to be set to call on the administrators of insolvency specialists Teneo as early as Monday.
Police have been called to the retailer’s headquarters in Manchester after suppliers showed up earlier this week to demand late payments be made, the i newspaper reported.
A liquidation petition was launched on May 10 against Missguided by Manchester-based clothing supplier JKS Fashions. Creditors have filed for liquidation and a court in Manchester is due to hear the case in July.
The newspaper said three Missguided suppliers had warned they were at risk of bankruptcy due to non-payment.
The Guardian understands that some UK and overseas suppliers have not been paid for months.
Last fall, the online retailer was saved from collapse when retail investor Alteri, backed by investment firm Apollo, stepped in. Alteri announced layoffs in December as part of a turnaround plan. Last month Missguided said it was looking for a new buyer as its founder, Nitin Passi, left as chief executive. JD Sports and China-backed fashion retailer Shein have been linked with potential deals.
Missguided hired Teneo to assess strategic options last month and it is now understood the business advisory firm would oversee any insolvency process.
The company said: “Missguided is aware of the actions taken by some of the company’s creditors in recent days and is working urgently to address them.
“A process to identify a buyer with the required resources and platform for the business began in April and we expect to provide an update on the progress of this process in the near future.”
Founded in 2009 by Passi, Missguided was one of a handful of internet fashion brands to find success in a time when the traditional high street is on its knees. The company has grown rapidly in the UK and expanded into the US, Australia, France and Germany, but has struggled recently. The £1 bikini was sold at a loss as a marketing stunt.