997 jobs at risk as Jacques Vert & Dash owner confirms administration

Calvetron EWM

Calvetron Brands Limited (CBL) has today confirmed the appointment of administrators, placing 997 UK jobs in jeopardy.

The group, which includes womenswear retailers Jacques Vert, Dash, Precis and Eastex, has appointed Duff & Phelps to handle the administration.

Joint administrator Benjamin Wiles has stated that the business, which currently trades from 300 concessions around the world, is “continuing to trade the company while reviewing the options to sell the business as a going concern”.

The concessions are spread across the UK, Canada, the UAE and Ireland and are also featured in concessions at House of Fraser and Debenhams stores, both of which have endured severe financial difficulties over the past few months.

Currently it employs a total of 1408 people, including 997 in the UK, 155 in Ireland and 256 in Canada.

Its current situation is reportedly in part due to legacy issues left over from Calvetron’s acquisition of Style Group Brands Limited (SGBL) in June last year, which saved it from collapsing entirely.

Joint administrator Philip Duffy said: “CBL has also been carrying a number of legacy issues dating back to the acquisition of the assets and business of SGBL resulting in a high cost base relative to its turnover.

“In the difficult retail environment, we are facing today CBL simply could not restructure its cost base quickly enough or create the necessary economies of scale to succeed.”

The group’s chief executive Peter Ridler added: “Everyone at Calvetron Brands has worked with energy and determination to achieve the turnaround that was needed.

“However, a combination of four brands that needed time and investment, against a backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions on the high street, rising costs and low customer confidence has meant that we haven’t been able to achieve this within the timescales required.”

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