Bench is the latest to fall victim to the doom and gloom plaguing the UK high street this year after filing for administration.
The fashion retailer, founded in Manchester in 1989, has filed an application to appoint administrators, 176 jobs at risk in its UK operations and an additional 170 jobs at risk in its German operations.
However, it is understood that Bench’s 20 UK stores and 15 German stores will remain open and operate as usual in the immediate future and no staff cuts have been announced yet.
“We have been provided with further capital by our owner on several occasions to invest in new stores and employees, but we weren’t able to get the company onto a sustainable economic footing,” Bench chief executive Barry Knight said.
“We faced a lot of headwind due to the devaluation of the British pound, the competitiveness and the declining market in our fashion segment.
“Ultimately, it was not possible for us to generate further liquidity for the company, on either an equity or on a debt basis. As a result, we have no alternative but to go into administration.
“Our task now, together with the administrator, is to achieve the best possible outcome in this situation. Despite the company’s current challenges, we remain confident that the Bench brand can have a bright future.”