Specialist bathroom retailer Bathstore has collapsed, placing more than 500 jobs at risk.
Administrators from business services firm BDO said the company was continuing to trade as normal for now as they hoped to sell the company as a going concern.
Bathstore employs 531 people across its 135-strong store network and at its Welwyn Garden City head office.
The company joins a list of casualties as the retail sector continues to be hit by tough trading – a result of weak consumer confidence and high costs from the likes of business rates and minimum wage demands.
Sky News reported last Friday that Hilco, which owns Homebase, was plotting a move on the troubled company.
Ryan Grant, BDO business restructuring partner, said: “Despite significant investment into the business over the past five years, Bathstore has struggled to overcome the well-documented challenges facing the UK retail sector.
“The appointment was made after several months of difficult trading, and the failure of ongoing talks to find a buyer for the business.
“Bathstore is continuing to trade in administration, whilst the administrators seek a buyer.
“Subject to available stock, Bathstore is expecting to be able to satisfy the majority of outstanding customer orders, with the support of key stakeholders.
“However, all installation services have ceased with immediate effect. Customers will be contacted directly but can also find information on the company’s website.”
Bathstore joins the likes of Maplin and Toys R Us to have collapsed in the last 18 months.
Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost elsewhere following store closure programmes at chains such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and New Look.
Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, which owns Top Shop, was last week forced to beg creditors for approval for a rescue deal.
The most recent, Monsoon Accessorize, unveiled a plan on Thursday to seek steep rent cuts in exchange for handing landlords a £10m share of future profits.
Source: Read Full Article