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Footwear retailer Brantano goes into administration

RBR Staff Writer Published 23 March 2017

UK footwear retailer Brantano has entered into administration, putting more than a thousand jobs at risk.

The retailer had come out of administration about a year ago when it was bought by a company controlled by management buyout firm Alteri Investors.

Brantano has been selling discounted footwear and its business had suffered due to difficult trading conditions including the fall in sterling’s value, as reported by the BBC.

Its sister company, another shoe retailer Jones Bootmaker was also bought by Alteri from the bankrupt Macintosh Retail Group. Both Brantano and Jones Bootmaker were part of the UK footwear company Macintosh Fashion UK.

In January 2016, PwC’s Tony Barrell, Mike Jervis and Rob Hunt were appointed as joint administrators of the struggling footwear retailer.

While the administrators have been on the lookout for a potential buyer, the trade at a number of Brantano stores continued to be normal.

However, with a failure to find a suitable buyer, the administrators are reportedly taking some hard decisions regarding the continuation of the business.

Tony Barrell said that in spite of the business improving considerably and further reductions in the cost base, the footwear company hasn’t been profitable enough owing to a depressed and competitive footwear market.

Barrell added: "Like many other retailers, Brantano has also been hit hard by the sharp decline in sterling, the ongoing shift in consumer shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment. Regrettably, it is inevitable that there will be redundancies."

The footwear chain has 73 retail outlets along with 64 concessions across the UK. Its current workforce is 1,086 with 71 of them employed at its main office located in Leicestershire.

Image: Footwear chain Brantano on the verge of collapse. Photo: courtesy of PANPOTE/Freedigitalphotos.net.