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Family pays dividends at Fenwick

Ailing department store chain Fenwick handed out dividends of £4.9m to its family owners last year, despite axing hundreds of roles. 

Holders of preference shares received £3.1m The Sunday Times reports. These are said to be mostly family members, who are legally entitled to a payout if the company has reserves. 

Fenwick laid off 408 workers last year as part of a restructuring that centralised operations. Previously, each of the chain’s stores ran its operations autonomously. 

The family owned-department store chain swung to a loss of £17.3m for the 52 weeks to 25 January, compared with a £6.5m profit the previous year. 

However, the business has net assets of £541m and no debt. 

Fenwick has been contacted for comment.

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