What insolvency and administration stories have you missed?
Specifically to March when the first lockdown was announced and every business had to get used to some fundamental changes very quickly.
The year has continued to proceed slowly and just when a glimpse of some sort of regular routine is seen, it turns out to be a mirage as local lockdowns and restrictions reset the rules depending on where you live or work.
So while you’ve been grappling with restrictions lifting or coming in and working out what services you and your staff can offer, where and how – we’ve been doing what we do.
Keeping up with the important administration and insolvency stories that have happened in the past couple of weeks so you don’t have to.
Aspinall of London
The British heritage band Aspinall of London has launched a CVA as part of restructuring the company as an online-only retailer.
The brand which specialises in accessories currently employs 300 people across its 10 UK locations and exclusive concessions within Selfridges and Harrods.
A spokesman said: “Covid-19 has presented a number of challenges for those operating in retail and the luxury goods sector, not least the impact of reduced footfall across high street stores.
“If approved, the CVA proposal provides Aspinal with a platform from which it can refocus its business on its core online and premium concessions channels, providing a solid and sustainable grounding for the future.”
It would follow in the footsteps of other brands such as T M Lewin and Cath Kidston that had made the change from high street to exclusively digital.
Nationwide Accident Repairs Services
The drop-off in commuting and car journeys has had a negative impact on a lot of automotive businesses and has seen Nationwide Accident Repair Services go into administration with their subsidiary businesses.
30 sites have closed and 540 positions have gone while a deal to sell the remaining assets to RunMyCar Ltd was concluded by administrators.
A spokesperson said: “As with many other businesses, the group had to weather major financial fallout due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which meant that trading volumes were significantly reduced.
“Companies across the automotive sector are still recovering from an extended period where activity ground to a halt, significantly depleting cash reserves. Some are only reaching a fraction of pre Covid-19 volumes despite reopening outlets. Consequently, the sector is set for a make-or-break rebalancing period over the next few months.
“Refreshed lending agreements, cash conservation and supply chain management will be key.”
J Crew hauls anchor and sails back to America
Hip American fashion brand J Crew has given up on its attempt to break into the British fashion market and is closing all six of its UK stores.
A spokesperson said: “After a thorough review, we have determined we’re best able to serve our UK customers through our global e-commerce platform.”
The brand’s parent company has gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States so has been consolidating its overseas operations as a result.
One of the problems US retailers face in Europe and the UK is that they’re exporting to a smaller chain where property taxes and rents are higher and involve extra costs so clothes are priced at the same amount in pounds as dollars.
These push the prices higher once exchange rates are factored in and make it a harder sell against cheaper brands such as Primark if the brand’s product is not different or high quality enough to justify the premium.
Thai restaurant chain Busaba is the latest hospitality name to begin the CVA process.
Their initial plan is to close one of their 13 establishments permanently with five remaining closed until it’s financially viable to reopen. They hope to keep redundancies to a minimum of 40 as a result.
Lights go out on Olympic Torch Maker
Premier Sheet Metals based in Warwickshire have announced that they’ve gone into administration with a view to being liquidated.
Symbolically this is a sad reflection on the times as PSM made the famous Olympic torch for the 2012 London Olympic games which was carried by thousands and seen by millions.
The business blamed “conditions within the automotive sector which were further compounded by the onset of Covid-19.”
A spokesperson continued: “Following a review of the company’s financial position and cash flow requirements by the company’s advisors, it became apparent that Premier Sheet Metal Ltd could not generate sufficient sales and in turn cash flow to enable it to continue to trade.
“Therefore, very regrettably, and after a period of over 25 years of trading, the decision was taken to commence the process of placing (the company) into liquidation.”
With new restrictions being announced that are set to last into Spring 2021, businesses will naturally be nervous and wary about trading conditions in the next few weeks and months.
Especially if the government’s Covid-19 support packages do end in October as they are scheduled to.
A lot of decisions and choices will be put off but one call that can be made now with a high degree of confidence is to get in touch with us.
A free initial consultation with one of our expert advisors will help you focus on the immediate challenges facing your business in the short and medium term.
We’ll help you create an efficient and effective plan to strengthen all areas of your company and help you navigate whatever the rest of 2020 has to throw at you.