// BrightHouse poised to appoint accountancy firm Grant Thornton as administrators on Monday
// Move will place 2400 jobs across 240 stores at risk
// Investors had withdrawn support for a proposed restructuring
BrightHouse is one step away from collapse after it reportedly lined up administrators that will step in within days, placing the 2400 jobs at risk.
According to Sky News, the UK’s biggest rent-to-own retailer is poised to appoint accountancy firm Grant Thornton as administrators on Monday.
The news comes as investors withdrew support for a proposed restructuring, which means BrightHouse is likely to become the second UK retail casualty amid the coronavirus crisis.
- BrightHouse falls to £16m loss in latest quarter
- 721 job cuts as Laura Ashley permanently shuts 70 stores
- Cath Kidston at risk of being next coronavirus casualty as it urgently seeks buyer
BrightHouse trades from 240 stores and is owned by a handful of private equity groups, selling house household goods through repayment plans.
In October 2017 BrightHouse was ordered by the Financial Conduct Authority to pay £14.8 million to compensate 250,000 customers to whom it lent irresponsibly.
In its quarter ending September 28, BrightHouse’s loss deepened to £16.2 million after it was hit by rising compensation claims.
During that time the retailer took out a £5.6 million provision to cover customer claims that their ability to payments had not been properly assessed by the company.
Its administration could mean customers with outstanding mis-selling complaints may not be fully compensated.
Earlier this week, Laura Ashley became the first major UK retailer to fall into administration after the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated a recent downturn in profitability, with 721 employees set to lose their jobs after the permanent closure of 70 stores.
Before its administration, Laura Ashley operated 150 stores in the UK and employed around 2700 staff.
Meanwhile, Frasers Group has permanently closed down 31 Jack Wills stores in the past fortnight alone, as negotiations with landlords to keep the stores open came to halt due to the unprecedented uncertainty caused by the pandemic.