Image: Flickr.com / SPERA / CC-BY-SA-2.0 – www.spera.de
Liverpool’s L.K. Bennett store has immediately closed after the fashion retailer was placed into administration yesterday (7 March).
The branch within the city’s Metquarter shopping centre was one of five around the UK to shut straight away, alongside stores in Sheffield (Meadowhall), Bristol and two in London.
Administrators from EY’s restructuring team confirmed that, on appointment, it had been necessary to close the branches and reduce employee numbers at the luxury high street retailer’s headquarters, resulting in around 55 redundancies.
Headquartered in London and founded in 1990 by Linda Bennett, the company employs around 500 people in the UK across 39 stores, 37 concessions and at its head office.
L.K. Bennett’s international operations are not included in the administration process.
Dan Hurd, who was appointed joint administrator alongside EY’s Hunter Kelly and Craig Lewis, says: “Amidst tough trading conditions for retailers, the company has been further impacted by significant rent increases and business rate rises. Linda and the management team therefore made the difficult decision to place the company into administration, to protect the future of the business.”
A sale process for the business is said to have commenced and trading will continue as normal.
Web sales have, however, been temporarily suspended to allow administrators to work with the company’s trading partners and ensure customer orders can be processed and delivered as usual.
Hurd adds: “L.K. Bennett is a strong luxury UK brand, the new season collection was critically acclaimed, and recent trading is up, which we hope will be attractive to prospective buyers.”