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Base Menswear enters administration

Base Retail, parent company of Base Menswear, has entered administration, citing a squeeze in middle-market menswear and excessive rates.

Four of its stores have been closed – Lakeside, Watford, Bromley and Luton – and at least 10 people have been made redundant.

The business appointed restructuring firm Portland as administrator yesterday, and details are being finalised as to the amount of debt left, as well as payment that creditors might be able to expect.

However the demise of the menswear business has not affected Base Childrenswear, which is registered as a separate entity on Companies House.

 Managing director Marc Granditer told Drapers: “The men’s business has been challenging with a capital ‘C’ for a number of years. We have seen our market diminish to a point where it’s become unsustainable. After poor Christmas trading, I had no choice but to take this action.

“Rents are always difficult, but generally landlords are receptive. The real problem is the rates – the absurd situation in some of our stores where we were paying twice as much rates as rent. It’s obscene.”

 “Our children’s business is unaffected and remains strong,” he added. “This restructuring will allow us to focus 100% on the children’s market going forward.”

The five remaining stores – Basildon, Bluewater, Romford, Stratford and White City – are currently trading, and Granditer said he hoped to continue in those locations, if not necessarily in the current stores.

Granditer added: “It’s family business, I’ve known the staff a long time, and it’s not been easy to get through this situation. It was done with a very heavy heart.

“We hope we can come out of this the other side, really move forward as a childrenswear retailer which is the niche we want to fill.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • sadly the buyers have to take the downfall.as a supplier the buyers were so unsure of the buy plan and this is a fundamental problem across the clothing business.
    its not all down to get the maximum discounts and pushing suppliers/brands---its about getting the right product mix/colour/sizes for the consumers that the retialer is catering for and acheiving good seel thorughs as this is money in till and not as most retialers who look at entry margin.exit margin is whats in your account to pay the bills.

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  • having done business with Base for many years I can vouch for the capabilities of the buyers as far as selecting merchandise suitable for their market is concerned. Of course obtaining the desired brands, at fair prices, is very important and I feel that they have always been at the forefront as far as customers requirements are concerned.
    The main problem, generally in retail, is not the buying but the obscene costs of rents, and especially rates.
    I am sure that Base will come forward as a leading retailer of childrenswear and as a major supplier I look towards our fine relationship continuing well into the future.

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