The factory which made the knickers for Mary Portas’s Kinky Knickers lingerie business as part of the retail expert’s bid to revive UK manufacturing has collapsed into administration.
Administrators BDO were appointed to the Headen & Quarmby factory in Middleton on Tuesday.
Administrators blamed the business’ collapse on a drop in post-Christmas orders from “key” customers.
Portas relaunched the factory in 2012 when she used the Bottom Line television series to create the business as an attempt to prove that the UK manufacturing industry could be revived.
In a statement on her Facebook page Portas said she was “surprised” by the administration.
“I believe strongly in the team and their products, the stuff they make for us is made with passion and love for the product. I am enormously proud of everything they have achieved, their energy and vision.
“Right up until this announcement, H&Q were telling me of their ambitious plans for our brand and the others they manufacture under licence as well as plans they had for their own ranges. It’s especially sad as they were even opening an Academy later this month to help share the skills and learning.
It’s so sad that the problems have been caused by cashflow shortfalls due to bad debts arising from some smaller retailers going bust over Christmas and a large retailer cancelling an order – this is of course the sad reality of retail and manufacturing in Britain today.”
But now the factory has fallen on hard times and made all 33 members of staff redundant
BDO business restructuring partner Kerry Bailey said: “A drop in post-Christmas orders from key customers and a decline in sales volumes has significantly affected the business and resulted in a deterioration of its working capital position. However, we are doing everything we can to try to secure a future for the business, and we are hopeful of securing a sale.
“To that end, the administration team would welcome approaches from commercial parties interested in acquiring the business or assets.”
Boots, M&S, Liberty and Selfridges all agreed to stock the Kinky Knickers range when it was launched in 2012.