South Derry based online menswear retailer secured Government-backed loan

The Savile Row Company employs 27 people at its online distribution warehouse in Magherafelt.
Ryan McAleer

A LUXURY online menswear retailer, with a base in south Derry, is the latest firm to confirm it has secured finance through the UK Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The Savile Row Company employs 27 people at its online distribution warehouse, factory shop and call centre in Magherafelt.

The retailer, which operates a flagship store at 40 Savile Row in London, ceased online sales and closed its warehouse on March 24.

The company said it secured finance through the CBILS with Danske Bank.

It comes as trade body UK Finance announced an upsurge in lending through the scheme in the past week.

Total UK-wide lending more than doubled over April 14-21 to £2.8bn, an increase of £1.45bn.

UK Finance said lenders had received 36,000 completed applications to date, approving 16,624, with 9,000 approved over April 14-21.

Despite a Government guarantee for 80 per cent of all loans, the scheme was widely criticised for the low approval rate from lenders in the first few weeks.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a revamp on April 3.

Managing director of The Savile Row Company, Jeffrey Doltis, who previously lived in Northern Ireland for 15 years, said in his case, Danske Bank had acted quickly to approve his application for the loan.

He said that online orders for clothing had fallen even before the UK Government announced a widespread lockdown.

“We decided to put the entire business on hold rather than continuing with a skeleton staff and putting their welfare at risk.

“The CBILS loan, together with the government furlough scheme, gives us comfort that losses we incur from coronavirus will be controllable and we will be ready to get restarted, hopefully in June, with a view to getting back to normal trading in September or October. As restrictions are lifted we hope people will think in a different way about clothing.”

Jonathan Elder, corporate banking manager at Danske Bank, said: “Jeffrey and his family have been customers of the bank for a long time and have a very successful business.

“We hope this loan will help the business to be ready to come back stronger when normal trading resumes.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access