Fashion retailer Blue Inc is expected to snap up 47 stores from Officers Club today after the latter is put into administration, which is expected imminently.
As well as saving about 500 jobs - just under half the Officers Club total - the deal will enable Blue Inc, which is considering seeking new investment or a float, to extend its presence in parts of the country where it is under-represented.
The purchase will take Blue Inc into Scotland, where it has no shops at the moment, and strengthen its franchise in the Northeast of England and Wales, where it has three and two stores respectively.
The stores being bought - just under half of Officers Club’s 106 - are expected to add between £25m and £30m of sales to Blue Inc’s, bringing its turnover up to about £80m.
Blue Inc will also buy the Petroleum brand from Officers Club administrator Grant Thornton. Petroleum is understood to have performed well in outlet centres and Blue Inc will continue to run the brand for some time then decide whether to retain it.
Officers Club’s headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne will be closed.