Wed, 20 May 2020 | ADMINISTRATION
Johnsons Shoes Company, the parent company of shoe retailers Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes, has filed for administration, citing online competition and the impact of coronavirus.
The family-run company was established 50 years ago and runs 12 stores in Windsor, Newbury, Staines, Teddington, East Sheen, New Malden, Twickenham, Walton-on-Thames, Northwood, Richmond, Beaconsfield and Farnham.
Ian Defty and Richard Toone of CVR Global have been appointed as joint administrators. All of the company’s 145 staff who are currently furloughed will keep their jobs for the time being as the administrators seek a buyer for the business. There are reported to have already been expressions of interest in the company from high street retailers and newer market players.
Ian Defty commented: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown Johnsons Shoe Company lost its ability to continue trading, and it was the final nail in the coffin for a business that was already struggling before the pandemic struck, like many other retailers.”
“The business has traded strongly for many years, but last year was particularly difficult for them as they battled with rising rent and business rates, combined with the increasing competition from online shopping.”
“The business’s products have mass family appeal, and if it can attract a buyer who can help it to adapt and trade, possibly via online channels, then it has a strong chance of continuing the strong legacy it has built up over the decades.”
The company’s problems have raised concerns among brands that they stock that they will see lost business. Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes stock 27 brands, including Timberland, Ugg, Clarks and Converse.
The managing director of a brand stocked by the company was quoted as saying: “To lose a dozen independent stores within the M25 area – it’s going to be well-nigh impossible to replace them. We did very good business with them and we can’t replace that business.” The person added that they “fear they won’t be the last”.
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