Written by: Keith Tully
The fashion retail business Monsoon Accessorize is on the brink of becoming insolvent and calling in administrators, according to reports.
It is unclear precisely when the company’s entry into administration might become official but Sky News is reporting that the retailer is very much poised to do so.
As many as 3,500 jobs could be at risk across the Monsoon Accessorize business and its 220 stores in the UK.
Around 40 of the company’s high street stores were closed in 2019 as quite dramatic steps were taken to put the business on a more stable financial footing.
In the region of £12 million is believed to have been pumped into Monsoon Accessorize recently by its founder Peter Simon, who is reported still to be seeking to find a means of rescuing his company.
Sky News reports that Mr Simon has been attempting to sell the business he founded almost 50 years ago over the course of the past two months, during which time all of its dozens of UK stores have been closed due to the coronavirus situation.
It is thought that the company’s founder will be looking to acquire a slimmed down version of the Monsoon Accessorize business if it is entered into administration.
As for so many retailers in the current climate, the issue of rents has been a critical one for Monsoon Accessorize, with bosses seeking to do deals to reduce rents to more sustainably affordable levels.
In 2019, landlords of the company’s stores agreed to cut rents in the context of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) but 40 outlets were nonetheless closed permanently after that process had been undertaken.
The UK’s high street retailers were facing significant operational headwinds even before the onset of the coronavirus crisis, which has seen most be required to shut up shop entirely for the past several months.
Expectations are currently that non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen across the country from mid-June.
However, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson said recently that “many retailers will be facing a fight for survival” when they reopen in the coming weeks.
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