Posted: Fri 18th Oct 2019

Updated: Fri 18th Oct

Concern for jobs as Bonmarché stores appoint administrators for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 18th, 2019

There are concerns over the future of Bonmarché after the chain appointed administrators today.

Administrators say the chain’s 318 shops, including the Wrexham store, will remain open while a buyer is sought with 2,887 people employed throughout the UK.

In Wrexham to chain occupies 9-11 Regent Street in the town centre.

Tony Wright from FRP Advisory who have been appointed as the administrators have said in a statement: “Bonmarché has been a staple on the UK high street for nearly three decades, but the persistent challenges facing retail have taken their toll and led to the administration.”

“There is every sign that we can continue trading while we market Bonmarché for sale and believe that there will be interest to take on the business.”

Helen Connolly, Chief Executive of Bonmarché, said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that we have appointed administrators. Over the last 18 months, trading in our stores and market conditions on the high street have significantly worsened. This has overwhelmed the business and its financial position. The high street is going through a period of historic difficulty and we have been unable to weather the economic headwinds impacting the whole of the retail sector.

“We have spent a number of months examining our business model and looking for alternatives. But we have been sadly forced to conclude that under the present terms of business, our model simply does not work. We have examined other options, including that of a CVA or refinancing, but do not believe these options will fundamentally change the core challenges facing the business. We are sadly no longer in a position to demonstrate to our shareholders that the business can continue as a going concern.

“Our market position has not been helped by the protracted economic uncertainty caused by the drawn-out Brexit process. The delay in Brexit has created negativities both in the global markets towards Britain and damaged consumer sentiment and retail footfall on the high street. These have compounded the challenges we were facing and without such a delay, it is feasible to believe that our issues would have been more manageable. Instead, it has only intensified the pressures.

“In the later stages of our struggle with these issues, Spectre became the majority shareholder of the business. We would like to thank Spectre and their team of advisors for their advice, guidance and support over the last few months. We believe that if we had had an opportunity to work with the Spectre team closely at an earlier stage, another outcome would have been possible.

“Our first priority is to our colleagues and their families in the face of this difficult news. This is not the outcome we had hoped for and we will work with the administrators to do all it possibly can to protect as many jobs as possible and work towards finding a buyer for the business that can secure its future going forward.”

Top pic: A view up Regent St

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