Bonmarché wasn’t the only UK retail chain to file for administration on Friday with Scottish department store operator Watt Brothers also throwing in the towel after a history stretching back 104 years.
Last week’s Brexit deal and the pulling of Saturday’s Parliamentary vote have left the UK retail sector back where it has been for the last three+ years, facing an uncertain future as consumers shun unnecessary spending.
Bonmarché went into administration as the week ended, with tougher-than-ever trading conditions making a turnaround unlikely. Nearly 2,900 jobs are at risk but its 318 stores will stay open while a buyer is sought.
Buying House of Fraser and ultimately loss-making stakes in firms like Debenhams and MySale may have been a chastening experience for Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, but it hasn't stopped him from looking for more buys.
Bidding for Jack Wills is getting under way with reports saying six interested parties are in the race. They’re said to include the UK’s two most acquisitive retail tycoons, Mike Ashley and Philip Day.
The chances of Philip Day achieving full control of low-price womenswear retailer Bonmarché have increased with the company’s third-largest shareholder having sold its stake to Day’s Spectre Holdings investment company.