Bensons for Beds and stablemate Harveys have fallen into administration, with the former being bought out by previous owners Alteri in a pre-pack deal.

Bensons for Beds, which operates 243 shops, has been bought in a pre-pack administration deal by turnaround firm Alteri Investors, saving nearly 2,000 jobs.

Alteri will invest £25m of fresh funding into the retailer to revive its fortunes, but plans to close one of its manufacturing sites and may downsize its store estate depending on what rent deals it can secure.

Sister retailer Harveys is not included in Alteri’s pre-pack deal for Bensons and will operate in administration while a buyer for the business is sought, with PWC acting as administrators.

Approximately 1,500 jobs are at risk at Harveys if a rescue bid isn’t secured and 240 redundancies have been made with immediate effect. 

Its stores will continue to operate in administration while a buyer is sought and all orders made up until today will be honoured.

Joint administrator Zelf Hussain said: “The group had been facing increasingly challenging trading conditions in recent months, in particular the Harveys furniture business. This has resulted in cash flow pressures, exacerbated by the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and customer sales. It has not been possible to secure further investment to continue to trade the group in its current form.”

Alteri Investors boss Gavin George said: “Alteri remains fully committed to the future of Bensons and is providing £25m of fresh backing to help fund the turnaround of the business.

“The restructuring, whilst obviously difficult for Harveys’ employees, will safeguard more than half the group’s workforce and is a necessary milestone on Bensons’ journey to becoming a market-leading beds retailer with a strong omnichannel presence.

“We will continue to work closely with the management team on the turnaround of the business, which we believe can have a bright future despite the challenges facing the retail industry, including the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Bensons for Beds boss Mark Jackson added: “While this is a difficult day, saying goodbye to loyal colleagues across the group, the restructuring will allow Bensons for Beds to emerge as a leaner and fitter business, well positioned to rebuild in a new retail environment.

“Bensons has a bright future. Our vertically integrated British manufacturing base sets us apart in the market and we now have the foundation that will allow us to ensure Bensons can prosper.”