Administrators complete sale of Bonmarché, but most stores excluded
Confusion over Bonmarché’s inclusion in the rescue deal that saved most Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home stores and jobs has been cleared up with news on Thursday that Bonmarché has also been sold to Purepay Retail. That's a company linked to former owner Philip Day with an international investor consortium also involved.
The administrator said that the deal for the retailer saves 531 jobs and 72 stores, although this leaves a much larger number of stores (148) out of the deal.
Damian Webb and Gordon Thomson, partners at the accountancy firm RSM were appointed Joint Administrators to the company on 30 November 2020.
Purepay is a secured creditor to the Bonmarché business and has acquired all the remaining stock, as well as the head office site and distribution centre in Wakefield.
Purepay will operate the 72 stores under licence and 387 store staff will transfer to it, alongside all 51 head office and 93 distribution centre staff.
The administrator said the remaining 148 stores are currently closed in line with the UK lockdown and it’s “reviewing all options for these sites prior to the lifting of the lockdown. The staff at these stores are currently furloughed”.
Damian Webb, Joint Administrator and Partner at RSM Restructuring Advisory, said: “The business has been widely marketed and the sale protects the core business. Against a challenging retail environment, we are now focused on protecting the remaining estate and the associated employees.”
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