Fashion retailer LK Bennett goes into administration

Roman Schwartz
March 9, 2019

The brand, which posted an operating loss of £5.9 million in the year to July 2017, filed a notice of intention to appoint EY as administrator last week, if no new investment could be found.

The brand employs around 500 people at 39 stores and 37 concessions across the United Kingdom plus its London head office.

The fashion retailer, known for its smart daywear, attracted celebrity fans over its near 30-year history, including the Duches.

The company's Irish operation will not be affected as of yet however, as that comes under its worldwide arm which is not part of the administration process.

LK Bennett has become the latest victim of the high street downturn after collapsing into administration, putting about 500 jobs at risk.

The business said last week it was having difficulties and was eyeing EY as a possible administrator if it could not secure new financing.

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"Amidst tough trading conditions for retailers, the company has been further impacted by significant rent increases and business rate rises", joint administrator Dan Hurd said.

The firm is owned by founder Linda Bennett, who had stepped back from the brand in 2008, but returned in 2017 as a consultant.

As well as Meadowhall, the other stores to close are Bristol, Liverpool and two in London at Brent Cross and Westbourne Grove.

"Linda Bennett and the management team therefore made the hard decision to place the company into administration, to protect the future of the business".

According to the most recent available accounts for the company, Ms Bennett invested £11.2million into the group upon her return to ownership. "Anyone who works in the industry who may be anxious about the future of their jobs should hope for the best but prepare for the worst".

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