A few weeks after closing its UK stores, Australian card and stationery business kikki.K has gone into voluntary administration after attempts to save the business failed.
The brand, founded by Kristina Karlsson and her husband Paul Lacy in Melbourne in 2001 was operating from 65 stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, but at its peak in 2017 was trading from over 100 stores.
“It is with profound regret and sadness that we take this action,” said co-founder Kristina in a statement. It is understood that a deal was in the offing with an unnamed global company. “But we ran out of time and had no choice but to place the company into external administration,” Kristina’s husband Paul Lacy added.
The retailer is now asking those customers to share their “love” for the brand on social media, with an Instagram post from Tuesday evening very quickly attracting thousands of likes and comments.
He added that the business has been hit by a “perfect storm” of factors that have had negative effects on the business.
“We’d not long started our store rollout in the UK when Brexit hit and the economic uncertainty that came with it,” he said. “Then came the social unrest in Hong Kong which ate into our sales in Asia…And, finally we’ve had the triple-whammy of soft consumer demand, the business impact of bushfires and more recently the unprecedented and profound impact of coronavirus which is hitting so many businesses and countries so hard.”
This news comes only a few weeks after The Little Birdy Group was appointed as kikki.K’s distributor in the UK who was well underway on forging links with retailers to stock the products and has a fully fledged showroom up and running in St Albans.
Already kikki.K’s distributor in the Middle East, The Little Birdy Group was founded by former retail buyer (of Toys R Us, Hamleys and Very) Jodie Thorpe, six years ago, Little Birdy has built up a strong reputation in the Middle East, representing companies including Pigment, Portico Designs, Penny Kennedy and Wild and Wolf.
“We have been very saddened by the news. kikki.K is such a beautiful brand that has great potential in the UK. I do hope that a new buyer is finalised quickly so that we can continue with our plans,” Jodie told PG Buzz.
Top: kikki.K shut its three UK stores in January.