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UK Businesses Urged to ‘Keep Trading, Keep Employing’

Written by: Keith Tully

Reviewed: Tuesday 6th November, 2012

high street

High-street names such as Blacks, Clinton Cards, GAME, La Senza and Peacocks are just some of the UK’s most renowned companies that have faced corporate insolvency within the last 18 months – but Cooper Williamson believe there’s plenty of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Cheshire-based insolvency practitioners have responded to recent industry figures which demonstrate it isn’t all gloom and doom. The analysis, carried out by insolvency trade body R3, shows that more than half of all jobs put under threat by an insolvent retail employer have been saved.

The research also found that 48% of store units survive a move through administration or receivership.

Cooper Williamson’s ethos is steadfast in keeping businesses trading wherever possible and ensuring redundancies and job losses are always the last resort.

High-profile names such as Blacks were able to keep their doors open in 224 of 313 stores safeguarding 2,750 jobs, Clinton Cards has over half its original outlets trading with 400 out of 784 saving 4,500 jobs, whilst Peacocks still has 388 of 614 stores open which represents 4,320 saved jobs.

Jon Munnery, Director of Cooper Williamson, said:

“In many cases, a large number of companies who face an insolvency process are rising like a phoenix from the flames with many stores continuing to trade, which is always the paramount objective.

“It’s regrettable that some stores have had to close but we are nonetheless pleased that in an extremely challenging retail environment, a high proportion of stores and jobs are being preserved.

John Hall, council member of R3, said:

"These figures show that the insolvency process, whilst never good news, can result in significant parts of the business surviving.

"The fact that over half of jobs remain intact is positive given the trouble a business is likely to be in at the start of insolvency.”

The insolvency accountant added: "Much of the retail sector needs to change its methods of meeting customer expectations or face extinction. Store portfolios are simply too large at present, so shedding some unprofitable stores is part of this evolution."

Cooper Williamson, based in Wilmslow, has a team of specialists who are highly skilled in business recovery and Jon Munnery believes recovery is often a huge step towards longevity.

“Companies can often rebalance their portfolio, revitalise their brand to cater for a changing market and thus restore profitability to remain competitive.

“The economic downturn has presented many challenges but we have been encouraged by the way in which businesses have demonstrated their ability to cope with these difficulties.”

Keith Tully

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Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

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