“Oldest department store in the world” Bennetts enters administration

// Bennetts, founded in 1734, has entered administration
// Administrators are hopeful a new owner will be found, and most jobs will be kept
// Bennetts is dubbed “the oldest department store in the world”

A Derbyshire-based department store, dubbed the oldest department store in the world, has collapsed into administration.

Bennetts, which first opened its doors in 1734, called in administrators from Bridgewood Financial Solutions after being hit by weakening consumer confidence, online competition and growing costs.

The administrators said the historic department store’s loyal customer base had not been enough to keep it going during a “very challenging” period on the UK high street.

Bennetts first opened its doors in the Derby’s Cathedral Quarter before adding another site to its portfolio in Ashbourne.

Joint administrators Paul Mallatratt and Louise Freestone said both Bennetts stores will continue to trade as a going concern while they explore a sale of the 285-year old business.

The administration is expected to lead to a small number of redundancies, but the majority of staff is expected to keep their jobs.

“Bennetts is an iconic retail brand which, over many years of trading, has earned a reputation for offering good quality products and great customer service,” Mallatratt said.

“Given its pedigree we are hopeful that a buyer can be found so that Bennetts can continue to serve the local community for years to come.”

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