Department store Allders is to close this month with the final day of trading expected to be September 22nd 2012, it has been confirmed.
Joint administrators Duff & Phelps announced the closure after failing to find interested parties though noted that it has “explored all potential options to secure a buyer for the business as a going concern and safeguard employment.”
Allders first started trading 150 years ago from a store in Croydon and at its peak generated an annual turnover in excess of £700 million and traded from a total; of 45 stores across the UK.
However, the retailer first went into administration in 2005 and the Croydon unit was sold to Harold Tillman, British Fashion Council Chairman who is to be replaced in the role by Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet.
Duff & Phelps was appointed on June 15th 2012 in an attempt to secure a buyer though no formal offer has been received and the remaining interested party withdrew their bid last week.
Geoff Bouchier, Duff & Phelps partner, announced the closure, commenting: “It is with sadness that we are making this announcement as we recognise that the store is an historic and iconic landmark in the local community.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Allders, the concession partners, Croydon Council and the landlord Minerva for their continued support throughout the Administration trading period.”
The closure will be a bitter blow for the southern town which was badly affected by the London riots last year and Croydon Council announced that it is offering support to traders to help them find new premises amid the closure.
A statement from the Council said: “The council remains determined to ensure that as many as possible of the small businesses that traded from the store will continue to operate in the town.
“Support and advice is being offered to those concessions who are now trying to establish themselves in other premises, and negotiations are underway with local commercial landlords and agents to try and broker advantageous deals on vacant shops.”
Councillor Mike Fisher, Leader of Croydon Council, explained that plans are in place for a training and employment advice shop at Wqhitgift Shopping Centre for staff affected by the closure, adding: “We’re tremendously sad that it is likely that the store will be closing its doors.
“It has been part of the town for a very long time. Unfortunately, Allders has been unable to keep up with the competition in the modern retail market.
“What I am confident about is that the current plans for the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre will see this site given a new lease of life. We will be working closely with the landlords to bring the space back into use as quickly as possible.”