// Bonmarche falls into administration for the second time in just over a year
// While no redundancies or store closures have been revealed, it put 1500 jobs into uncertainty
// Administrators say Bonmarche’s 225 stores will remain as they seek a rescue deal
Bonmarche has collapsed into administration for the second time in just over a year, putting more than 1500 jobs under threat.
RSM Restructuring Advisory, which has been appointed to handle the administration, said all Bonmarche’s 225 stores will remain open and there are no redundancies yet as it looks to agree a rescue deal.
It comes after Bonmarche plunged into administration in October last year, before administrators agreed a rescue deal with retailer Peacocks before the pandemic struck the UK earlier this year.
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Despite the deal, 30 stores were closed before last Christmas, affecting hundreds of jobs at the group.
A few months before Bonmarche’s first administration, Spectre Holdings – an investment firm run by retail tycoon Philip Day – had racked up around 93 per cent of shares in the retailer.
Meanwhile, Peacocks is owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM Group), which in turn is also owned by Day.
In November, Peacocks and stablemate Jaeger joined other EWM Group fascias Ponden Home and Edinburgh Woollen Mill in filing for administration.
Regarding Bonmarche, Damian Webb, joint administrator of RSM Restructuring Advisory, said: “Bonmarche remains an attractive brand with a loyal customer base.
“It is our intention to continue to trade whilst working closely with management to explore the options for the business.
“We will shortly be marketing the business for sale, and based on the interest to date we anticipate there will be a number of interested parties.”
Bonmarche’s demise marks the latest amid a retail bloodbath sparked by the pandemic.
Around 25,000 jobs at risk after Sir Philip Green’s Topshop and Dorothy Perkins empire Arcadia Group called in administrators on Monday, while Debenhams started a liquidation process on Tuesday after JD Sports pulled out of possible rescue talks.
However, it has been a chequered recent past for Bonmarche, even before the coronavirus crisis.
The retailer has been hit hard by rising costs as business rates have soared and the minimum wage has been hiked, which has combined with a shift towards online shopping.
Last year’s administration came after a series of profit warnings.
It had also hit the wall with sister company Peacocks in 2012, before the pair were rescued by private equity firm Sun European Partners.
with PA Wires