Shoe retailer Brantano in administration, sale sought

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 | ADMINISTRATION

The shoe retailer Brantano has collapsed into administration, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk and adding to the growing list of companies stung by a rise in costs following the post-EU referendum fall in sterling.

Brantano’s owner Alteri Investors, which specialises in turning around struggling businesses and bought Brantano out of administration a year ago, has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Alteri also owns Jones Bootmaker and is seeking a buyer for that chain too.

Shoe Zone and Edinburgh Woollen Mill are reported to be in the running to buy Leicestershire-headquartered Brantano, which operates 73 stores and 64 concessions across the UK, employing 1,086 staff.

PwC said Brantano has experienced “difficult trading conditions” despite efforts to make it more commercially viable.

The company is the latest in a line of firms hit hard by the fall in the value of sterling following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Tony Barrell, lead administrator at PwC, said: “Despite significant improvements in the business and reductions in the cost base, trading has continued to suffer in a depressed and competitive footwear market.

"Like many other retailers, Brantano has also been hit hard by the sharp decline in sterling, the ongoing shift in consumer shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.

“The administrators are continuing to trade the business as normal whilst assessing the trading strategy and any interest in parts of the business over the coming days and weeks. However, regrettably, it is inevitable that there will be redundancies. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work while the business is in administration.”

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