Wed, 12 Aug 2020 | BUSINESS NEWS
Retailer and wholesaler Baird Group, the license holder for brands including Suit Direct, Ben Sherman and Jeff Banks, has received creditor approval to proceed with a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Around 94 per cent of the company’s creditors voted to approve the CVA.
The CVA, originally proposed on July 23 2020, will see 18 stores, one warehouse and one office close, with 264 job losses. 29 further stores will undergo a reduction in and phased rebuild of their base rent. Redundancies will mainly impact the group’s Debenhams men’s tailoring concessions, however, Baird says it is not exiting Debenhams.
Baird Group has been working with KPMG’s restructuring division to review its options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Baird CEO Mark Cotter had previously stated that the review was prompted by the challenges of the pandemic and the administration of Debenhams.
The company will undertake a new three-year plan, refocusing on its core retail outlets of Suit Direct and Ben Sherman, while continuing to grow its wholesale business and expand its online offering.
Cotter: “It is with deep regret that we will have to lose a number of our much-valued colleagues as we restructure our business. However, the board firmly believes that the CVA and the wider recovery plan will create a solid platform for a successful and sustainable business for many years to come for all our employees and stakeholders.”
“The support of the CVA from our creditors is a critical step in our wider turnaround plan, enabling us to lay the foundations for a successful future with a renewed focus on our core online channels and outlet stores.”
In its most recent available accounts, for the year ended February 2 2019, the company reported a loss for the year of £48,000. Its fixed assets were valued at £21 million, current assets at £6.3 million, with net assets of £16.9 million.
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