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Battle to save The Officers Club

The Officers Club chief executive Dave Charlton has until the end of the month to strike a deal with landlords to buy back stores and save up to 1,000 jobs, after the company went into administration last month.

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers closed 32 of the discount menswear chain’s stores last month, and more have closed since.

Charlton told Drapers that about 115 were continuing to trade, but said he was operating these under temporary licences from the administrator, many of which are due to expire at the end of the month. Charlton said he was in negotiations with landlords and suppliers and was hoping to buy back as many stores as possible on a permanent basis.

He was confident deals would be agreed. “We’re trying to keep as many jobs as possible, but as a new business we can’t keep stores that are not making a positive contribution.”

Charlton also ran five franchise stores for Danish denim brand Jack & Jones. These have also gone into administration. Charlton said the brand’s parent company Bestseller was in talks with landlords to take them on.

The Officers Club made a pre-tax loss of £794,000 for the year to August 31 2007, on sales of £52 million.

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