The Slovenia Times

Storied retailer files for bankruptcy

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Sandi Češko, the founder of Studio Moderna. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Omnichannel direct-to-consumers retailer Studio Moderna, not long ago one of Slovenia's largest companies and owner of some of the country's best known brands, has filed for bankruptcy after its founder tried unsuccessfully to bring it back from the brink.

The company's director Jana Umek has filed a bankruptcy petition with the court and informed the employees of the developments, the business newspaper Finance reported.

Studio Moderna is insolvent. It has been tight on operating capital for a while, its revenue has plunged, and it has failed to pay creditors and employees.

"The financial challenges we inherited from the previous owners were simply too big. No investor was willing to plug the €60 million hole," Sandi Češko, the company's founder and a pioneer of direct-to-consumer retail, told news portal N1 Slovenija on 22 August.

The move comes a year after Češko, who founded Studio Moderna in 1992 and went on to become one of the wealthiest Slovenians, bought the company back from several private equity funds he sold it to in 2019.

It is unclear why the company ran into trouble and Češko has been tight-lipped about that. However, the war in Ukraine had some impact at least: Russia and Ukraine accounted for about a tenth of the sales prior to the invasion.

Češko tried to salvage the company by selling off parts of the business. In May this year he offloaded some of the company's most famous brands, including Dormeo and Delimano. And in July he sold the retail arm to discount mattress retailer Matratzen Concord from Germany.

Češko told N1 that that Matratzen Concord was now willing to employ most of the company's remaining 200 employees.


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