Ziera Retail has entered voluntary administration with the rapidly evolving retail landscape, changing consumer trends and major changes in their supply chain taking a toll on the business. Insolvency partners, McGrath Nicol have been appointed as administrators.

Globally, independent footwear retailers have been closing as larger competitors and online sales take more market share, limiting Ziera’s wholesale market. A falling New Zealand dollar increased the cost of manufacturing and a weak Australian dollar negatively affected sales margin.

Ziera only launched an online offering via a website in December 2016. Despite over 50% growth per annum, rising rents and staff costs, combined with falling sales at bricks-and-mortar stores have led to the business becoming uneconomical to continue trading.

The administrators have taken control of Ziera and intend to continue operating the companies whilst seeking a sale of the business, either in whole or in part.

Voluntary administrator for Ziera’s New Zealand operations, Conor McElhinney said, “Ziera offes something unique in the women’s footwear market: stylish, quality shoes that have been orthopedically designed to be able to be worn all day. There is an incorrect perception that the shoes are only for mature women. The business rebranded from Kumfs to Ziera to appeal to a broader customer base, but the message about Ziera’s technology did not cut through.

“In our assessment, the technology has real value and we hope to find another footwear retailer to take on the Ziera mantle and continue to supply its loyal market, while bringing the comfortable fashion message to all women.”

Ziera, formerly Kumfs, sells footwear to independent shoe retailers around the world and through its own retail store network in Australia and New Zealand. The company was founded in 1946 by David Robertson and Mervyn Adams.

Ziera has 45 stores across Australia and New Zealand and employs approximately 250 staff.