Barratts and Priceless shoes latest in administration

High street stores Barratts Shoes and Priceless Shoes have been placed in administration. The stores, which are subsidiaries of British plc Stylo, are to continue to trade while administrator Deloitte LLP attempts to carry out a rescue. Between them, Barratts and Priceless Shoes have more then 400 stores in the UK and employ about 4,500 staff.

Deloitte LLP confirmed last night that the Irish businesses were included in the administration, although a spokesman could not say how many people were employed in the Republic.

The businesses are subsidiaries of British retail conglomerate Stylo Plc which is not in administration. Stylo manufactures shoes and distributes them through its Barratts, Shellys, Dorothy Perkins, and Priceless shops. Retail outlets total about 500 throughout the UK. The company closed nearly 120 money-losing Dorothy Perkins outlets in 2004.

The spokesman confirmed the administrators were seeking agreement from creditors to place the UK stores into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which allows existing directors to retain control of the company throughout the process. The stores remain open and continue to trade. It is understood similar agreements will be sought here.

In a statement, Daniel Butters, Deloitte partner and joint administrator, said: “We have been appointed as administrators to Barratts and Priceless while we contact all creditors with a proposal to rescue the companies via a series of CVAs.

“Under the CVAs, we will be asking creditors and landlords to contractually vary their terms of trade in order to give Barratts and Priceless the necessary breathing space to allow them to deliver value for all stakeholders.”

If creditors accept the proposals, the administrators will become supervisors to ensure that the companies meet their obligations to creditors. In the meantime, the stores will continue to trade as normal.

Image: Barretts logo

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