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North West stores remain open as L.K. Bennett is sold

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Administrators have sold the fashion retailer L.K. Bennett Limited for an undisclosed sum, securing the future of North West stores.

EY has completed the sale of the business and assets in the UK and Ireland to Byland UK Limited, apart from 15 stores around the country which will close.

A branch in Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre, as well as concessions in John Lewis at the Intu Trafford Centre and Hoopers Wilmslow will remain open following the deal.

Following the sale the company’s headquarters, 21 stores, all L.K. Bennett concessions and 325 employees will transfer across to the purchaser.

The luxury brand called in administrators in March to start a sales process for its UK operations and “protect the future of the business”.

Tough trading conditions for retailers and increases in rents and business rates were cited as reasons for the measure.

At the time, a store within Liverpool’s Metquarter shopping centre was one of five around the UK to shut straight away.

Commenting on the sale EY’s Dan Hurd, who was appointed as a joint administrator alongside Hunter Kelly and Craig Lewis, says: “With an established, luxury UK brand, the company received offers from a number of parties.

“We are pleased that we have completed a sale to Byland UK Limited, preserving the jobs of 325 employees across 21 stores, and that the business continued to trade through the administration process, helping to provide continuity of service for its loyal customer base.”

The 15 closing stores which were not included in the deal, resulting in the redundancy of 110 employees, include branches in Bath; Belfast; Birmingham; Bridgewater, Banbridge (Northern Ireland); City, Royal Exchange, London;  Glasgow; Gloucester; Kings Road, London; Knightsbridge, London; Long Acre, London; Northcote Road, London; St Albans; Westgate Oxford; York and York Outlet.