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Cochrane’s of Chester is sunk by tough trading

Menswear retailer Cochrane’s of Chester has been forced into administration after difficult trading.

The store closed last month and is the second classic menswear store in Chester to shut in recent months. It follows the demise of nearby Sartori last year, which went into administration and was bought out by fellow Chester menswear independent Tessuti.

Cochrane’s landlord, The Mall, is currently in discussions to relet the 2,000sq ft space on Bridge Street Row East. The Mall retail development director John Wood said: “There has been a variety of interest in the store.”

A source close to the situation said negotiations with a potential tenant were continuing, and the interested party is understood to be a fashion-related store.

Chester menswear indie Tessuti is understood to have considered buying the store to expand its Hugo Boss franchise. However, the unit is thought to have been too small for Tessuti’s requirements, and the retailer is still on the lookout for a suitable location.

David Moore and Don Bailey of Begbies Traynor have been appointed joint administrators of William Cochrane, which traded as Cochrane’s of Chester.

Moore said: “The radically altered buying habits of today’s consumers affected Cochrane’s. The new bargain men-tality means customers no longer want to pay full price for their suits when they can get them for half the price elsewhere. Cochrane’s also has a high rent for its premises, which means more customers are needed to counterbalance the cost of the building.”

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