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Brantano becomes first retail casualty of 2016

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British shoe retailer Brantano has gone into administration following a tough Christmas season, which was dominated by a new kind of shopper.

Brantano was among the many retailers that suffered from a lack of footfall around Christmas, as more and more customers chose to shop online, simultaneously blaming unseasonable weather for the weaker demand of winter stock. 

Accountancy firm PwC has been appointed as administrator for Brantano. The collapse of the brand raises some concerns about the role played by Alteri, the private equity firm that bought the company, as well as Jones Bootmaker, for £12m in October 2015. PwC has said that Alteri made “sustained efforts” to save Brantano.

“The continuing challenging conditions for bricks and mortar retail stores are well documented,” said Tony Barrell, lead Administrator at PwC. “Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.”

The Brantano estate currently includes 140 shops and 60 concessions. As it enters administration, 2,000 jobs are potentially at risk.

“The administrators are continuing to trade the business as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration.”

Published on Thursday 21 January by Philip Gallagher

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