London - Keeping consumers engaged remains challenging on the UK high street for fashion retailers as another brand is set to enter into administration. Fashion label Bench Limited has filed for the appointment of an administrator following tough trading conditions.
The move sees Bench, founded in Manchester in 1989, placing 176 jobs at risk within its UK branch and an additional 170 jobs at risk in its German division. For now, Bench aims to continue trading out of its 20 UK stores as well as its 15 stores in Germany as there is no immediate risk of sudden store closure. Employee redundancies have yet to be announced.
Bench is set to enter into administration
The women's, men's and children's wear brand has been owned by private equity firm Emeram Capital since 2014 when it acquired the brand from Amerciana International. Over the past two years, Bench has been struggling to turnaround its business after being hit by a slowdown in demand.
However, difficult trading conditions, increasing competition plus the devaluation of the pound and a declining market have pushed Bench to the brink. CEO Barry Knight maintains that Bench has been unable to get onto "sustainable economic footing" given the challenges it has been facing.
"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," said Knight in a statement.
"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."
FashionUnited has contacted Bench for additional information.