Brantano deal falls through, chain collapses into administration
Hopes that a buyer could be found for budget shoe retailer Brantano have fallen through with the firm now in administration for the second time in just over a year.
Shoe Zone and Edinburgh Woollen Mill were earlier reported to be interested in the struggling firm but no deal could be reached. And there was no news on whether Alteri is close to reaching an agreement for its other footwear chain, Jones Bootmaker, although it is believed the business has a stronger chance of finding a buyer.
Brantano, owned by Alteri Investors since last year, employs around 1,100 people in its stores and its Leicestershire head office, with those jobs now at risk.
Administrators Tony Barrell and Mike Jervis of PwC said the 73 Brantano stores and its 64 concessions will continue to trade for now but warned that there will be redundancies.
Brantano had endured difficult trading for some time and continued to struggle despite major streamlining efforts by its management.
“Despite significant improvements in the business and reductions in the cost base, trading has continued to suffer in a depressed and competitive footwear market,” PwC’s Barrell said.
It would seem that the Brexit vote, which led to a decline is the pound’s value to make imported goods and materials more expensive, plus the move to online shopping and factors such as rising business rates meant the business was simply not viable.
“Like many other retailers, Brantano has also been hit hard by the sharp decline in sterling, the ongoing shift in consumer shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment,” Barrell said.
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