American Apparel's UK business has today entered administration, with customers now unable to use gift cards or get refunds for returned items, and pending online orders no longer being dispatched.
The troubled retailer's US arm is being sold but its UK operations are not part of the deal, meaning it will probably be wound down, according to administrators KPMG.
Here's what you need to know if you're an American Apparel customer. See our Administration Help guide for more on reclaiming cash from companies.
Has American Apparel stopped trading?
Orders are no longer being accepted on American Apparel's UK website. However, the chain's 13 shops will remain for the "Christmas trading peak" and no redundancies have been announced for its 180 staff, KPMG says.
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I've ordered something online – will it be delivered?
Unfortunately it appears not. The administrators say online orders yet to be dispatched will not now be honoured, and you won't automatically get a refund either.
If you've lost money you'll need to register with KPMG as an unsecured creditor – you can do this on its website.
Can I still use my American Apparel gift card?
Not for the moment at least. The administrators told us they are "currently reviewing the gift card position and therefore gift cards will not be accepted as payment for goods for the time being".
How are refund rights affected?
American Apparel's no longer refunding any items bought in store or online – regardless of whether the item was bought before or after the chain went into administration. But it will still offer you an exchange within 14 days of purchase as long as you show your original receipt.
We're clarifying if there's any exception to this policy for faulty goods. If there isn't, you may be able to register a claim with KPMG.
According to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, your statutory right to a refund for faulty goods doesn't change when a company enters administration. However you may find it difficult to enforce this right if a business in administration ceases to offer refunds.
What do the administrators say?
Jim Tucker, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, says: "The American Apparel group has been experiencing strong retail headwinds, which has culminated in the US parent deciding to stop inventory shipments to the UK. The UK business has experienced similar trading difficulties, resulting in the appointment of administrators.
"The 13 UK stores are well stocked and will continue to trade as usual in the lead up to the peak Christmas trading period. Whilst the UK business is not part of the US sale, a number of the UK stores are in prime high street locations, and we will also aim to sell individual stores following the Christmas trading peak."
Where are American Apparel's UK stores?
It has eight stores in London – Camden High Street, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Kensington High Street, Oxford Street, Shoreditch, Westfield Stratford and Westfield White City.
It also has five stores elsewhere in the UK, in Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds and Nottingham.