Business

545 jobs lost as Monsoon Accessorize shuts 35 stores

 The Monsoon Accessorize store at the Abbey Centre.
August Graham, PA city reporter

MORE than 500 jobs, including a number in Co Antrim, are set to be lost after Monsoon Accessorize entered administration, as the hit from coronavirus threw its turnaround plan off course.

The business expects to make 545 staff redundant as it closes 35 stores, despite Monsoon's founder Peter Simon buying the business out of administration almost immediately.

The list of closures include the store in the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey. Three in the Republic will also close.

However, the deal will transfer around 450 jobs to Adena Brands, owned by Mr Simon, which has promised to inject £15 million into the business to allow the remaining stores to stay open.

Mr Simon will try to renegotiate with landlords to get a better deal on the remaining 162 store leases.

Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: "We had to move quickly and decisively to secure the future of Monsoon and Accessorize, as many jobs as possible and the presence of these two iconic brands on the UK high street.

"After assessing a range of options this deal achieves those goals with least disruption to the business in an already challenging retail environment.

"We are now committed to working with Adena Brands as they enter talks with landlords to agree future terms across their store portfolio and look to transfer more jobs to the buyer.

"We'll also be working with the Redundancy Payments Service to support all affected employees through this difficult time."

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