Grim week for retail continues as Bonmarché plunges into administration again

Bonmarché's store in Belfast's Castlecourt shopping centre. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Ryan McAleer

VALUE women's clothing chain Bonmarché has collapsed into administration for the second time in just over a year, putting dozens more retail jobs under threat in the north.

Hundreds of jobs are already on the line after Debenhams confirmed it will move to shut its five stores here, while the Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, also collapsed into administration this week.

RSM Restructuring Advisory, which has been appointed to handle the administration, said all Bonmarché's stores will remain open and there are no redundancies yet as it looks to agree a rescue deal.

The fashion chain employs around 1,500 people in 225 UK stores, including around 75 in Northern Ireland.

Most of its outlets in the north are based inside shopping centres.

It comes after Bonmarché plunged into administration in October 2019, before administrators agreed a rescue deal with retailer Peacocks.

Despite the deal, 30 stores were closed before last Christmas, affecting hundreds of jobs at the group.

Damian Webb, joint administrator of RSM Restructuring Advisory, said: "Bonmarché remains an attractive brand with a loyal customer base.

"It is our intention to continue to trade whilst working closely with management to explore the options for the business.

"We will shortly be marketing the business for sale, and based on the interest to date we anticipate there will be a number of interested parties."

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