Job losses after administrators fail to find a Barratt Priceless concession buyer

Jobs have been lost in this region after administrators of Barratts Priceless have failed to find a buyer for the shoe retailer's concession business.

Nationally about 1,600 jobs will be lost. It comes after the announcement last week that nearly 200 jobs were being lost with the closure of 18 stores, including one in King's Lynn.

Administrator Deloitte said it would continue to trade the remaining 173 stores, which include one in Castle Mall shopping centre in Norwich and one in Bury St Edmunds, as it seeks a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.

But it said today that it had been unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the concession business. The concessions are mainly in Dorothy Perkins and Outfit stores.

The administrators said failure to find a buyer for the concessions 'will unfortunately result in redundancies of Barratts Priceless staff across units in the UK and the Republic of Ireland'.

Daniel Butters, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte's restructuring services practice, said: 'Following a marketing of the Barratts Priceless businesses it is clear that a satisfactory sale of the concession to a new party will not be achieved.

'Accordingly, the joint administrators have regretfully had to make approximately 1,610 Barratts Priceless Group full and part- time employees working in the various concessions redundant.'

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The joint administrators are in conversation with the various concessionaires to see how many of the affected people they could either employ or absorb into their existing businesses.

They are also in active discussions to rescue a significant part of the remaining business, they added.

It was announced last Wednesday that 18 stores would shut two days later.

Five Barratts and 13 Priceless stores were closing last Friday, with the loss of 127 jobs, and a further 60 staff members at the head office in Bradford, West Yorkshire, were also being made redundant.

The shoe chain collapsed into administration earlier this month, after unseasonably mild weather further exacerbated already difficult trading conditions.

A spokeswoman for the administrators said later that the 359 concessions in Dorothy Perkins and Outfit would close. There are 15 further concessions, which are unaffected.