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Bonmarche collapses into administration as thousands of jobs at risk

by ace
Clothing shop Bonmarche

Bonmarche became the latest victim of the street crisis after collapsing in the administration, putting 2,887 jobs at risk.

The women's clothing retailer, targeting the over-50s market, was run by its directors after a "sustained period of challenging trading conditions and cash flow pressure", which meant the company was unable to fulfill its financial obligations.

The Wakefield-based company employs 2,887 people, including 200 employees at its headquarters, and markets 318 stores across the UK, online and over the phone.

Tony Wright, Joint Administrator and Partner of FRP Advisory, said: "Bonmarche has been a staple on UK streets for nearly three decades, but the persistent challenges retail faces have taken their toll and led to management.

"There are all signs that we can continue trading while we trade Bonmarche for sale and we believe there will be interest in taking over the business."

Image:
Bonmarche puts itself as a value fashion retailer. Pic: Bonmarche

Wright, Alastair Massey and Phil Pierce of FRP expert consultancy were named joint managers of Bonmarche on Friday.

"All stores remain open and there are no redundancies," administrators said in a statement.

This is the second time Bonmarche has entered management in seven years after being bought into a bailout deal by private equity firm Sun European Partners in 2012.

In June, Bonmarche recommended that its shareholders accept an offer of £ 5.7 million previously rejected by billionaire Philip Day, as bad trading conditions continue to hit the chain.

The retailer warned that his auditor would likely include a reference to "uncertainty about business continuity" due to business problems. Bonmarche shares fell 22% after the announcement.

A large number of shareholders sold their stake to Mr Day, owner of Edinburgh Woolen Mill, which includes Jane Norman, Austin Reed and Peacocks, giving him 95% of the retail.

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