Johnsons Shoes Company, which operates 12 stores under the brands Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes, has entered administration due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ian Defty and Richard Toone from insolvency and restructuring firm CVR Global have been appointed as administrators, and have opted to keep all of the retailer’s 145 staff furloughed while they actively seek a buyer to try and secure the jobs of staff and get the “best deal for creditors”.
The retailer – which first opened its doors over 50 years ago – has stores in Windsor, Newbury, Staines, Teddington, East Sheen, New Malden, Twickenham, Walton-on-Thames, Northwood, Richmond, Beaconsfield and Farnham.
The family-run business sells high-end men’s and women’s shoes, as well as footwear for schoolchildren.
Defty, partner at CVR Global, said: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown Johnsons Shoe Company lost its ability to continue trading, and it was the final nail in the coffin for a business that was already struggling before the pandemic struck, like many other retailers.
“The business has traded strongly for many years, but last year was particularly difficult for them as they battled with rising rent and business rates, combined with the increasing competition from online shopping.”
He added: “The business’s products have mass family appeal, and if it can attract a buyer who can help it to adapt and trade, possibly via online channels, then it has a strong chance of continuing the strong legacy it has built up over the decades.
“We have had a number of expressions of interest in the business but it remains for sale, and it’s imperative that we find a buyer in the near future.”