Irish fashion retailer A-Wear has entered interim examinership in an attempt to force its landlords to reduce rents.

The retailer, which is owned by investment group Jesta, has blamed its current difficulties on high rents and increased competition.

A-Wear was bought by Jesta in February last year after previous owner Hilco placed it into administration. It has over 30 stores.

Insolvency practitioner Ken Fennell was appointed as interim examiner to Latzur, trading as A-Wear, yesterday.

The judge in the examinership hearing yesterday  said that an independent accountant believed that A-Wear had a reasonable prospect of survival if certain steps were taken.

This includes reaching an agreement with its creditors to allow it to trade as a going concern. The court was told that securing a reduction in the rents will be important for its future.

At Grafton Street in Dublin, rent amounted to 28% of the stores revenue and it accounted for more than 15% of revenues at 17 of its other stores.

Jesta said it had reduced the firm’s annual loses from €5m to €2.5m.