kikki.K has been saved from voluntary administration after securing a partnership with US-based EC Design. The global stationery brand was placed into voluntary administration in March 2020.
The stationery brand will now expand its e-commerce offering and continue to operate its 30 stores across the world. The retailer entered Receivership in March, saying it was caught in the ‘perfect storm’ due to Brexit, social unrest in Hong Kong and COVID-19.
“It’s been such a challenging time these last few months for so many people, and all of us at kikki.K were no exception,” said Kristina Karlsson, the Co-Founder of kikki.K. “We really got caught in a perfect storm leading to Voluntary Administration, but our dream to do something meaningful in the world via kikki.K has been so strong we’ve done everything we can on behalf of all stakeholders.”
There was a flurry of interest for the retailer and its placement into administration, with an interest from nine buyers in the first 24 hours of the announcement.
While stores remained shut to the pandemic, its online offering was trading at an average of 200 percent higher than the same period last year.
“It’s a great feeling to come through it with a brilliant result in the circumstances and with the overwhelming support of creditors. We’re so happy that we’ve preserved hundreds of jobs and we’re well set up to thrive again and make positive impact in the world in small and big ways with our products and services,” Karlsson explained.
kikki.K has signed a deal with EC Design, which was finalised on July 30th. The business is set to remain independently-run, with Karlsson and CoFounder, Paul Lacy, remaining as shareholders and leaders.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome of securing kikki.K’s future,” said Lacy. “While it’s such an exciting time, and will set the beautiful brand we’ve created up to thrive, Kristina and I remain very conscious that a lot of stakeholders who have been strong supporters have been impacted, so it’s very much a bitter-sweet moment for us. The consolation is that by finding a way for the business to survive we now have the opportunity to rebuild, and in the process make-good in any ways we can with people impacted, in particular the eco-system of great suppliers and landlords we’ve partnered with for many years,” he said.
kikki.K stores remain closed across Australia due to the pandemic but will begin to re-open in selected stores. This does not include Victoria and the City of Melbourne, which has entered Stage Four of restrictions, meaning all non-essential retail stores are to shut for six weeks.
“We have long admired kikki.K for its unique design and functional products, and we are thrilled to welcome this incredible team into the EC Design family,” said Tonia Misvaer, the CEO of EC Designs.
“The beautiful Swedish design aesthetic that is signature to the kikki.K brand will remain and will now be more readily accessible to U.S. audiences. After learning of kikki.K’s intention to enter voluntary administration, we knew we were in a unique position to step in and serve as stewards of the brand’s renaissance. We look forward to working with everyone at kikki.K through this restructuring process and returning the brand to profitability. We invite all longtime kikki.K fans and EC Design loyalists to keep their eyes open for new designs, product offerings and creative endeavours as we bring even more beautiful, purposeful products to life.”
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