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Base Menswear to go upmarket after rescue

Young branded fashion chain Base Menswear will go more upmarket after being rescued from administration by its previous owners.

Director Marc Granditer has secured backing from an unnamed investor and has bought back 13 of the business' 20 shops.

High profile stores in Bluewater in Kent, Lakeside in Essex and Birmingham's Bullring were included in the rescue deal. However shops including Gateshead, Derby and Reading have closed.

Granditer said that some stores had failed to meet expectations: "The stores that we let go are stores that we took on a flexible basis and the leases were up for renewal."

He said that the business would now chase younger and more upmarket brands: "The middle market menswear sector is not a healthy place to be at the moment. There's too much competition from the high street. We will also do less forward order and more in-season buying."

"We've had a lot of support from all our suppliers who have encouraged us to take the business forward," Granditer added.

"Our occupancy costs have been slashed with the store closures and head office costs have been reduced after five redundancies."

Granditer said that the Base Boys concept would continue to be a part of the strategy, and that he was in talks with brands such as Nicholas Deakins and Fly 53 to introduce to the menswear business.

Administrators Leonard Curtis were appointed to oversee the future of the 100 year-old business earlier this month.

Base Menswear is one of several retail chains to hit the buffers this year. Select Retail, Dolcis and Stead & Simpson have all been in administration this year.

Base London, the footwear brand, has no association with the retail chain.

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