Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 10th October 2019
The jewellery retailer Links of London has called in administrators after succumbing to a persistent cashflow crisis.
Around 350 jobs are understood to be at risk with the business having headed into administration and facing an uncertain future.
Deloitte has been appointed to the company with efforts being made to secure a sale that might yet rescue some or all of the 35 Links of London stores in the UK and Ireland.
Bosses at the business have been battling to keep the retailer solvent in recent months and years, with pre-tax losses for the year to December 2017 totalling more than £20 million and overall sales having declined by 12 per cent in that year.
Appointed administrators from Deloitte have said that Links of London has been faced with “difficult trading conditions” and has been grappling with “ongoing cash flow pressures”.
“The company is well-known in its market, having been present on British high streets for almost 30 years,” said Matt Smith from Deloitte in a statement.
“This is not the outcome we hoped for and will of course be difficult news for employees and their families.
“We appreciate the support of management and we will continue to support employees through this time.”
Although a British brand, Links of London is owned by a Greek company called Folli Follie, which designs, makes and distributes luxury jewellery on an international basis.
Folli Follie found itself at the centre of a corporate scandal in 2018 after its bosses were accused of fraudulent activities and overstating sales.
Plans to potentially enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) as the basis for a rescue of the Links of London business were proposed in recent weeks but the terms of such a deal could not ultimately be agreed by the relevant parties involved.
Discussions also took place recently with potential new owners of the jewellery business, with the owner of Sports Direct Mike Ashley said to have been among those most interested in potentially acquiring it.
Administrators have said that Links of London’s operations will continue trading for now in order to sell stock and to function “for the benefit of creditors”.