Tuesday, October 24, 2017

News: Rotherham Greenwoods store saved

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The Rotherham store of historic national retailer, Greenwoods Menswear, has been saved from closure as a new buyer takes on the business.

Adrian Berry and Clare Boardman of Deloitte LLP were appointed joint administrators on September 6 with 300 jobs and 60 stores at risk.

The retailer has stores nationwide and specialises in men's formalwear and smart casual clothing whilst also developing the 1860 Brand, a hire wear specialist of wedding, evening and Highland wear suits. The company also operates its niche brand "Mansize" which caters for the larger man, whilst still retaining high quality styling and fabrics.

The Rotherham "flagship" store opened on College Street in 2011 in the former Music Zone unit. The move into the store was helped by an £8,000 grant from the Council's Town Centre Business Vitality Grant Scheme.

The stores have continued to trade, despite third party supplier ACS Clothing Limited, which supplied the suit hire to Greenwoods Menswear, pulling out.

The latest deal via the administrators will see 40 stores, central warehouse and its 11 staff, and head office and its 15 staff now operated by Versatile International Trading. The move means 181 jobs have been saved, but 88 people will lose their jobs thanks to the closure of 22 stores.

The Rotherham store is set to remain open.

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Adrian Berry, joint administrator, said: "This sale represents the best outcome for the business, which has been trading in administration for over six weeks. A significant proportion of the employees now have their jobs protected and we would like to thank all of them for their support during this difficult period."

The firm has struggled in the challenging retail sector before. In 2009 Greenwoods was bought out of administration by Harvest Fancy Hong Kong Ltd, an arm of Bosideng, one of China's biggest clothing chains. Under subsidiary, Pacific Trend Investment, the business was then acquired by fully by Bosideng in October 2014.

An investment and restructuring plan was underway but it was reported earlier this year that Bosideng, which has around 10,000 stores in China, was pulling out of its flagship London store which was expected to be a launchpad for a move into Europe.

For the financial year to March 31 2016, turnover at Greenwoods was £2m down on the previous year at £22.2m. Pre-tax losses went from £1.7m to £1.4m.

Images: Allsops

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