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Hundreds of Bonmarché jobs at risk amid reports some stores may never reopen

It is understood that Bonmarché staff were told in January that they would have to wait six months to find out if their jobs were still secure

Hundreds of jobs at Bonmarché are reportedly at risk as administrators struggle to decide how many stores should open as the ban on non-essential retail lifts.

According to The Telegraph, administrators RSM have been “reviewing” options for the company’s 148 store estate – noting that many of the stores may never resume trading. 

In February 2020, Bonmarché was first sold to Peacocks – which is part of Phillip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM). 

However, last December, Bonmarché and other retailers part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mills group collapsed, following a year of declining revenue and sales. 

Nonetheless, this January, Bonmarché was sold to Purepay Retail Limited, in a deal which saw the company operate 72 stores under licence and 387 store staff transfer to the acquirer. 

It is understood that Bonmarché staff were told in January that they would have to wait six months to find out if their jobs were still secure. 

Damian Webb, joint administrator and partner at RSM restructuring advisory, told Retail Sector that the team “are focused on protecting the remaining estate and the associated employees”. 

He said: “With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease for non-essential retail we continue to work towards a plan for a phased reopening of stores currently held in administration and re-engage furloughed staff where sites will be re-opening.

“Bonmarché remains an attractive brand with a loyal customer base. It is our intention to continue to trade and we are in conversation with a number of stakeholders to explore the options for the business.”

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