Nearly 300 jobs to go as fashion brand set to close

Womenswear store East in London Street, Norwich. Picture: D Faulkner

Womenswear store East in London Street, Norwich. Picture: D Faulkner - Credit: Archant

Nearly 300 jobs will be lost after a fashion retailer became the latest high street casualty.

East, which has stores in London Street, Norwich, and Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds, will stop trading next week after administrators from FRP Advisory failed to find a buyer for the firm.

The womenswear retailer went into administration in January and has now announced it is to stop trading from May 4 with the loss of 290 roles.

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East owed nearly £9m to creditors as well as a further £7.65m to shareholders.

The administration came three years after the company had been sold in a pre-pack deal which saw it close 19 stores and offset debts. However, according to the joint administrators' report, published on Companies House, the company remained loss-making despite investment of £6m amid challenging trading conditions and a poor credit rating which made it difficult to raise capital.

The news comes at a tricky time for the high street with retailer Toys R Us set to close its final stores today while electronics seller Maplin is also in administration.

Fashion retailers in particular have been struggling with New Look and Select entering company voluntary agreements (CVAs) to restructure their costs.

Restaurants have also been under pressure with chains Prezzo, Jamie's Italian and Byron all closing stores in restructures.

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