Fashion retailer Select has become the latest high street casualty to file for a company voluntary agreement (CVA), plunging 1750 jobs into uncertainty.
Select’s parent company, Genus UK, announced that it was seeking a CVA to allow it to slash rents among its 183 stores across England and Wales.
While Genus UK said it had no plans to close stores, the CVA proposal includes an option for landlords to “take back loss-making sites”.
Of its 183 stores, it is thought that around 50 would not be affected by rent renegotiations or possible closures, while 25 would be subject to the largest rent cuts.
Select employs 1618 store staff and 132 head office employees and reports indicate that Genus UK would do all it can to preserve their jobs.
Creditors will vote on the CVA proposal on April 13.
Andrew Andronikou of business advisory firm Quantuma, which is aiding Genus UK with the CVA, said Select had been hit by the “depressed retail market and escalating rent and rate charges”.
“The loss of anchor tenants on high streets and in smaller shopping centres has had a downward spiralling effect on stores such as Select, culminating in a reduction of footfall and therefore custom,” he said.
“The position for this business, and many businesses of the same model is no longer tenable and has escalated to the present situation where a CVA is considered to be the only option, other than closing it in its entirety.”
Select booked a £1.5 million loss on sales of £81 million in 2016.
Andronikou said Quantuma was “confident” that the CVA’s proposals would be approved in order to prevent “another brand disappearing from our high streets”.
The news comes a week after New Look’s creditors approved its own CVA last week, which will result in 60 store closes and a loss of almost 1000 jobs over the next 12 months.
Select’s woes also follows a string of high street casualties in recent weeks with Toys R Us, Maplin, Warren Evans and Feather & Black falling into administration while Mothercare, Carpetright, House of Fraser and Bargain Booze owner Conviviality were all forced to seek help to help them stay afloat.