- Value footwear retailer Brantano in administration
- Brantano was acquired just three months ago by Alteri Investors
- About 2,000 jobs are at risk across 140 Brantano stores and 60 concessions
- Sister retailer Jones Bootmaker unaffected
Administrators have been called in to the value shoe shop Brantano three months after it was bought by restructuring firm Alteri Investors.
About 2,000 jobs have been put at risk after administrators PwC said the retailer had been “hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits”.
It comes just weeks after it emerged that Alteri was evaluating Brantano’s future. A source close to the situation told Retail Week that the retail restructuring specialists had been “evaluating the options” since acquiring the discount footwear business.
Sister retailer Jones Bootmaker, which was also purchased by Alteri from Macintosh Retail Group as part of the £12m deal in October, is not affected by the administration.
“Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment”
Tony Barrell, PwC
Brantano, which operates 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK, has experienced difficulties in a tough footwear market, reporting a pre-tax loss of £4.6m in the year ending December 31, 2014. However, turnover increased 6% to £100.7m in the same period, according to documents filed at Companies House.
Lead administrator Tony Barrell said: “The continuing challenging conditions for bricks-and-mortar retail stores are well documented. Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.
“The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration.”
PwC deals partner Robert Moran, who is leading the sales process, said approaches from interested parties would be welcomed.
He added: “Brantano is an established value shoe retailer in the UK and Jones Bootmaker/Brantano businesses attracted considerable interest during the 2015 sales process. We are now assessing interest in the UK Brantano business as a whole or its parts and we welcome approaches from interested parties.”
Since Alteri launched at the end of 2014, it has bought German multi-brand retailer Versandhaus Walz, provided a three-year loan to Austin Reed Group and provided a working capital facility to German fashion group Basler.