Stylo chief executive and chairman Michael Ziff embarked on a charm offensive with suppliers this week, in a bid to stabilise the footwear group and discuss its post-administration strategy.
The Ziff family rescued 95 Priceless and 84 Barratts stores and 165 concessions last week after landlords voted against Stylo’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposals earlier this month, forcing the company into administration.
Administrator Deloitte closed 220 stores, resulting in the loss of 2,500 jobs. It said the store portfolio was unable to generate enough profit to cover Stylo’s cost base.
Ziff declined to give details but said he was in the process of talking to suppliers and staff about the strategy for the new, leaner Stylo business as Drapers went to press.
Suppliers, who were owed in the region of £10 million, largely supported the CVA proposals. Ziff told Drapers they remained “the lifeblood” of the Stylo business and said he planned to honour Stylo’s commitments to them as best he could.
Ian Blackman, managing director of fashion group Pentland Brand’s footwear division, which includes brands such as Kickers and Kangaroos, said: “We are supportive of Stylo and we have meetings set up next week. As far as we’re concerned it will be business as usual, albeit with fewer shops. But we see our relationship as not just a supplier and retailer, but as a long-term partnership.”
Another supplier, who wanted to remain anonymous, was also due to meet with Stylo. “We’re going to talk to Michael Ziff about outstanding payments,” said the supplier. “We are as confident as we can be [in this climate] going forward with the business.”
Stylo director David Lockyer will continue to run the Barratts chain while Ron Stark will remain in charge of Priceless.
The talks with suppliers come ahead of footwear trade show Micam in Milan, Italy, which takes place from March 4-7.
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