Jigsaw brings down the shutters on Kew as losses hit £10m

Jigsaw, the fashion chain that once employed Kate Middleton, will close its younger Kew label by the end of the summer after racking up a £10m loss last year.

Accounts for Jigsaw’s parent company show Kew, which was launched in 2003, made a loss of £6.8m last year as it failed to inspire cash-strapped young shoppers.

A third of the 22 Kew stores will be converted into Jigsaw outlets while the remainder will be closed.

Accounts filed at Companies House for Robinson Webster Holdings, Jigsaw’s parent company, show a group loss of £10m for the year to October 1, 2011, although turnover lifted slightly to £84m from £81m.

Robinson Webster said the decision to close Kew was taken “reluctantly”.

“The board is now able to actively focus on the Jigsaw brand and is seeking commercial opportunities to earn profit and add value by pursuing growth outside of the established stores and web channels,” it added.

Jigsaw also incurred heavy losses of £21.2m last year, which the parent company put down to “one-off charges from the decision to provide against intercompany loans and investments”.

The group plans to further expand the Jigsaw brand in the US, where it has three outlets, through further standalone shops, the internet and concessions in department stores. It is also expanding Jigsaw’s UK business online.

Jigsaw was founded in 1972 with one store in Hampstead.

Robinson Webster also owns the fashionable Shop at Bluebird on London’s King’s Road and homeware brand Cabbages & Roses.

No-one at Jigsaw could be reached for comment.

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