Menswear retailer Moss Bros has announced a CVA to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and help secure a future for the business.

Moss Bros, which specialises in men’s apparel and formalwear in particular, has suffered amid the coronavirus pandemic due to the cancellation of events such as weddings, proms and occasions like Royal Ascot.

With trading likely to be continue to be impacted by social distancing measures and other regulations around such events going forward, Moss Bros is pursuing a CVA in order to restructure its cost base and give it the best chance of long term survival.

The heritage retailer operates 128 stores and employs 800 staff.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the group was trading robustly versus last year, despite operating in a challenging business environment.

“At the outset of the pandemic, we managed to reduce costs and furlough staff in order to survive the first lockdown. There was then a glimmer of hope as we began to reopen some stores in the summer period, but even then trading was severely impacted, footfall was extremely low and sales were substantially down on the previous year.

“With the introduction of further lockdown measures, and with the outlook for trading remaining depressed, the group now faces no alternative but to try and limit our fixed costs and we have therefore made the tough but essential decision to undertake a CVA in order to protect the future of our business and people. 

“I am extremely grateful for the support and understanding of our staff in the stores, distribution centre and head office, as well as our shareholders, landlords, suppliers and customers as we proceed with the restructuring process to safeguard our business and protect jobs. This, as always, remains our primary focus.”

Joint nominee of the CVA at KPMG Will Wright added: “Restrictions on large gatherings have had a savage impact on Moss Bros, and without taking further action, the situation facing the company is perilous.

“The CVA proposals put forward today seeks to strike a fair compromise for creditors, while providing the business with the lifeline it needs to be able to emerge from the crisis “