The fashion retailer Bonmarché has fallen into administration for the second time in a year as the Covid crisis among high street retailers continues to mount.
The Wakefield-based retailer, which was only bought out of administration by the retail mogul Philip Day in February, sells fashion for women over 50 and has 225 shops and about 1,500 staff.
RSM, which has been appointed as administrator, said: “No redundancies or store closures have been made on appointment.”
The news comes in a week in which Arcadia Group and Debenhams collapsed.
When Bonmarché entered into administration last October the business employed 3,000 staff and operated 314 high street stores. Bonmarché closed 30 stores before Christmas 2019.
“Bonmarché remains an attractive brand with a loyal customer base,” said Damian Webb, joint administrator at RSM. “It is our intention to continue to trade while working closely with management to explore the options for the business.”
Webb is confident the business will find a buyer, with Bonmarché becoming the latest retailer owned by Day to collapse.
“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,” Webb said.
Last month the fashion chains Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert collapsed into administration, putting almost 4,800 jobs at risk. The retailers are all part of Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which in October warned that it was on the brink of collapse.
Two other chains owned by Day, Edinburgh Woollen Mill itself, which specialises in knitwear and fashions for the over-50s, and Ponden Mill homewares, called in administrators at the beginning of November. Just under 900 people immediately lost their jobs and a further 2,000 roles remain at risk.
Potential buyers for Day’s struggling retailers include Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and TM Lewin’s owner, Torque Brands, which is controlled by the London-based finance group SCP Private Equity.
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