Store Twenty One has collapsed into liquidation, resulting in the loss of 900 jobs.
The value fashion retailer has been on the brink of collapse for a number of weeks despite a restructure a year ago via a company voluntary administration that saw the closure of 77 stores.
While 80 of the remaining 122 Store Twenty One stores switched form a quarterly rent scheme to a monthly rent scheme and trade was scaled back, in April it was handed a winding up notice by HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) for failing to make payments.
Many staff members have also alleged that they haven’t been receiving wages on time, and that their pensions had not been paid in months.
In May, Store Twenty One filed a notice to appoint administrators, and HMRC and main creditor State Bank of India granted the retailer a stay of execution allowing it further time to raise needed funds.
In a rush to raise funds, Store Twenty One’s parent company Alok Industries sold its head office and warehouse.
Despite this, Alok could not raise the necessary funds in time for HMRC’s deadline and a court order was issued to wind up the business.
this means all of the remaining Store Twenty One shops have now shut down and 900 staff have lost their jobs.
Simon Bonney, Carl Jackson and Paul Zalkin, partners at corporate recovery and business advisory firm Quantuma, have been appointed to handle the liquidation.
“It is very sad that matters have got to the stage where all the stores were closed by management on Friday following a prolonged period of uncertainty leading up to the liquidation,” Bonney said.
“We are now in the process of conducting an orderly wind down and we would welcome contact from any interested parties who may wish to purchase assets of the company.”