Value fashion retailer Store Twenty One has appointed restructuring expert AlixPartners to review the business, with options including a CVA or a sale.
A source told Retail Week that the future of the 218-strong business is under review, with options also including seeking new investment. An administration hearing will take place on August 11.
The source added that a combination of factors including operation issues and a challenging market had led Store Twenty One to bring in restructuring experts. “The market is harder now than it’s ever been,” the source added.
It is not the first time Store Twenty One has hit challenging times. Owned by Indian manufacturer Alok Group, the retailer was in trouble three years ago when it sought rent reductions from landlords. It led to bailiffs visiting stores after the retailer failed to pay rent.
In the year to March 28 2015, Grabal Alok (UK) Ltd, which trades as Store Twenty One, posted pre-tax losses of £6.7m compared with £9.8m the year before. Sales grew to £92.22m, up from £89.37m the year before.
Will Thomas, director of retail property agency KLM Retail, said that in an event of a CVA, because Store Twenty One’s shops are “generally well configured and in good secondary locations” the estate “should attract reasonable interest”. But he cautioned that a CVA would “add more supply to the market” at a time when few retailers are expanding.
Store Twenty One did not respond to request for comment. AlixPartners declined to comment.