High Street

Baird Group launches CVA proposal

Baird Group has launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal in order to safeguard the “long-term future” of the group.

The group, whose portfolio includes Ben Sherman and Suit Direct, worked with KPMG’s Restructuring practice to review “all options” available to address the challenges presented by the pandemic.

As a result, the board formulated a “recovery plan”, contingent on the approval of the CVA, which provides Baird with a “sustainable platform” for its key business units as the world recovers from the Covid-19 crisis.

A total of 29 stores would see a reduction and phased rebuild of base rent, while a further 18 stores, one warehouse and one office will close immediately upon the CVA becoming effective.

The group said an “unfortunate and unavoidable” outcome of this process will be the loss of 264 members of staff who work in retail and distribution, mainly servicing the Debenhams business.

Mark Cotter, CEO of Baird Group, said: “The extraordinary circumstances that Baird has faced as a result of the global pandemic, coupled with the challenges presented to our business by the administration of Debenhams, prompted us to conduct a strategic review of options in order to safeguard the future of our business.

“As a result of this review, we have formulated a three year plan to refocus on our core retail outlets (SuitDirect and Ben Sherman); the continued growth of our wholesale business; and further expansion of our on-line business.”

He added: “It is with deep regret that we will have to lose a number of our much-valued colleagues as we restructure our business.

“However, the board firmly believes that the CVA and the wider recovery plan will create a solid platform for a successful and sustainable business for many years to come for all our employees and stakeholders.”

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