- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Fellow footwear retailer Pavers has finally acquired Jones Bootmaker through a pre-pack administration deal, leading to 86 redundancies. The move comes close to a year after Pavers first made a bid for Jones Bootmaker, but lost its bid to private equity firm Endless.
It marks the second time in a year that Jones Bootmaker has seen a change of ownership, highlighting the difficult trading conditions retailers face on the high street. Endless, which previously acquired Jones Bootmaker last March for 10.5 million pounds through a separate pre-pack administration deal, appointed Sam Woodward and Colin Dempster from EY as joint administrators earlier this week following tough trading.
Jones Bootmaker changes ownership for the second time in one year
The administrators then sold Jones Bootmaker to Pavers, who agreed to take over 42 of its 47 stores, its websites as well as the Jones brand, thereby saving 389 jobs. However the deal did not include Jones head office, which currently employs 50 people, and 5 stores, leading to 86 redundancies in total. The 5 remaining stores not included in the deal will be closed down shortly.
"Despite substantial investment and best efforts, the recent adverse retail conditions have meant that the Jones business could not be turned around and needed to be part of a larger group,” said Endless in a statement. The private equity firm tried to turnaround Jones Bootmaker but was unsuccessful. Following a business review carried out last year, Endless shut down 9 stores last August amid growing pressure on its weak sales and costs.
Based in York, Pavers is a privately-held business, which currently operates 130 stores and employs 1,300 people across the UK. The footwear retailer aims to grow and develop Jones Bootmaker, but will ensure it maintains a distinct and separate presence on the high street. “All of us at Pavers are happy to be able to secure the future of hundreds of loyal employees and welcome them into the Pavers family,” said Pavers managing director Stuart Paver in a statement.
“The Jones stores and people are a huge asset to Pavers and we look forward to developing the business, and the people, over the decades to come. Pavers is an independent family business, as Jones used to be, and we want to re-establish these traditional family values, returning the focus at Jones to exceptional product and friendly customer service – hallmarks of what we try so hard to achieve at Pavers.”
“Our plan is to grow and develop the Jones Bootmaker brand and product as a distinct offering separate from the existing Pavers retail business. We believe the Jones brand has an exciting future and are eager to invest in this.”
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