Case Study: Bennetts (Irongate) Limited - Administration
Multi-site department store in trading administration
Bennetts (Irongate) Limited traded reputedly as the "oldest department store in the world" on Irongate in Derby. The company also had a store in Ashbourne. The business, family owned for 30 years, had a loyal customer base but in recent years had suffered from the perfect storm of weakening consumer confidence, increasing competition from online retailers and escalating costs.
By January 2019 the company found itself in an insolvent position, with significant lease liabilities and no cash with which to order stock. The directors appointed Paul Mallatratt and Louise Freestone of Bridgewood as Joint Administrators on 8th February 2019.
Bridgewood traded both stores whilst a buyer was sought for the sites. Extensive use was made of the Press and social media, leveraging the Derby store's iconic status, which attracted a number of interested buyers as well as driving increased footfall and sales in both stores.
A small number of redundancies were made on day one, including the directors/senior management. The business continued to trade well, allowing the Joint Administrators sufficient time to secure a sale of the Derby site, which was agreed in principle at the end of April and completed on the 20th June.
Unfortunately a buyer for the Ashbourne store could not be secured and after 8 weeks of trading in administration the decision was taken to close this store down. Working closely with staff the Joint Administrators were able to sell 95% of the stock for cost price or better.
The combination of good trading income plus the sale of the Derby store's assets has ensured creditors will receive a good dividend, as well as preserving 27 jobs and the brand.
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We are very pleased to have agreed a sale in principle of the business, particularly in such a difficult retail climate. This will ensure the iconic Bennetts brand continues to have a strong presence in Derby.
Bridgewood is a trading style of Bridgewood Financial Solutions Limited (Company No: 06957765). Registered Office: Cumberland House, 35 Park Row, Nottingham, NG1 6EE. Registered in England and Wales.
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Thomas Grummitt and Andrew Smith are licensed to act as Insolvency Practitioners in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. In carrying out all work related to an insolvency appointment, insolvency practitioners are bound by the insolvency code of ethics and are subject to the regulations and guidance of their authorising body. Details of the code of ethics, statements of insolvency practice and other regulations and guidance issued by the Insolvency Practitioners Association can be found here: