Albemarle & Bond owner terminates business

Albemarle & Bond Daikokuya Holdings
Albemarle & Bond and its sister company Herbert Brown pulled the plug without warning last Friday
// Albemarle & Bond has ceased trading without warning
// The pawnbrokers shut down 113 shops last week

Daikokuya Holdings, the parent company of pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond, has ended the business as concerns over losses are expected to increase after Brexit.

The concerns have continued to grow since the Japanese company shut down 113 shops last week.

Albemarle & Bond and its sister chain Herbert Brown stopped trading without warning last Friday, which left customers wondering whether they’d recover their belongings which were pawned for short-term cash.

Daikokuya Holdings has not updated customers on the future of Speedloan Finance, the UK subsidiary that owns the two pawnbroking retail chains and employs nearly 400 staff.

However, Daikokuya Holdings told investors in Japan that it has been working to improve its management since acquiring Speedloan Finance in October 2014.

“However, despite the implementation of various measures to improve management such as moving the head office, flattening the organisation, and reducing the number of employees, the net profit for the year ended 31 March 2019 was a deficit of £7 million,” Daikokuya Holdings said.

“Moreover given the increased likelihood that the UK will leave the EU, losses are expected to increase, so we have decided to withdraw from the UK business.”

The company said it was now seeking a buyer for Speedloan Finance’s assets and had begun a voluntary redundancy programme for its nearly 400 staff.

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