Norwich retailer LK Bennett enters administration
PUBLISHED: 16:29 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 07 March 2019
Women’s clothing retailer LK Bennett has collapsed into administration, putting 500 jobs at risk.
Whether this includes staff at concession stores such as the one in Norwich’s Jarrolds and John Lewis, has not been confirmed.
The store also has a concession in John Lewis in Chelmsford.
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It emerged last month the company had hired advisers to look at options for the business, including fresh investment or a full sale.
However the business announced to do that it had appointed corporate undertakers at EY to carry out the process.
The firm is owned by founder Linda Bennett, who had stepped back from the brand in 2008, but returned in 2017 as a consultant.
Later that year, she bought back the controlling stake previously held by Phoenix Equity Partners.
According to the most recent available accounts for the company, Ms Bennett invested £11.2 million into the group upon her return to ownership.
They showed a loss before tax of £47.9 million for the year to July 29 2017.
The failure is the latest in a string of mid-market women’s fashion labels to buckle under the pressure of dwindling high street sales.
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Last year, Irish designer Orla Kiely closed five retail stores as the fashion brand went into liquidation.
Meanwhile, department store House of Fraser, which stocks the LK Bennett brand, went into administration last year before being bought out by Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.