Administrators said no redundancies or store closures have been made on appointment

Administrators said no redundancies or store closures have been made on appointment

UK-based women's value clothing retailer Bonmarché has fallen into administration for the second time in just over a year, leaving more than 1,500 jobs at risk.

The Wakefield-based business sells fashions for the over-50s, and trades through 225 stores across the UK. It also operates online and by telephone.

It fell into administration in October last year, citing failure to restructure its business fast enough to meet today's new trading realities. 

A month later, the retailer identified rival retailer Peacocks as a preferred bidder for the business, with a deal regarded as the best opportunity to maximise returns for creditors and sell the business as a going concern.

However, around 30 stores are understood to have closed before Christmas last year.

Damian Webb and Gordon Thomson of RSM Restructuring Advisory, who have been appointed as joint administrators, said no redundancies or store closures have been made on appointment.

"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," said Webb.

"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."

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the high street this year, with this week also seeing the demise of Debenhams and Arcadia, which owns the Topshop and Dorothy Perkins brands, among others.

Owned by British retail tycoon Phillip Green, Arcadia Group collapsed into administration on Monday (30 November), with 13,000 jobs now at risk.

The group, which operates from about 444 leased sites in the UK and 22 overseas, employs around 13,000 people. A total of 9,294 workers were on furlough at the time of the joint administrators' appointment.

Meanwhile, Debenhams has said it will begin a wind-down of its operations after JD Sports Fashion, Britain's largest sportswear retailer, ended rescue talks this week and administrators failed to find an alternative buyer for the business.

The decision could see all 12,000 employees lose their jobs when the retailer's 124 UK stores cease trading.

Meanwhile, the Peacocks and Jaeger fashion chains, both owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mills, filed for administration last month, endangering more than 4,700 jobs and putting about 500 shops at risk of closure.

Reports last week suggested the directors at Marks & Spencer were interested in the Jaeger unit along with Austin Reed, but a spokesperson for the group told just-style the reports were "highly speculative" and it declined to comment.