Retailers are under yet more pressure as the trendy brand of shops Bench, which was founded in Manchester, goes into administration. The firm employs 176 people in 20 shops in the UK and it also has a number of German outlets.
Bench’s chief executive Barry Knight issued a statement. He said: “We have been provided with further capital by our owner on several occasions to invest in new stores and employees, but we weren’t able to get the company onto a sustainable economic footing.
“We faced a lot of headwind due to the devaluation of the British Pound, the competitiveness and the declining market in our fashion segment.
“Ultimately, it was not possible for us to generate further liquidity for the company, on either an equity or on a debt basis. As a result, we have no alternative but to go into administration.
“Our task now, together with the administrator, is to achieve the best possible outcome in this situation. Despite the company’s current challenges, we remain confident that the Bench brand can have a bright future.”
Bench had made losses of £2.3m loss in 2016 and it was behind in filing its accounts
The reasons for the problems on the High Street are well known –
- Squeeze on spending
- Higher business rates
- Internet Shopping
- Minimum wage rises
- Pound devaluation
- Cut throat competition.