The administrators of Internacionale are going on a charm offensive with staff, landlords and suppliers in the next few days, as they look to convince them to continue working with the retailer for as long as possible.
As revealed by Drapers, Internacionale UK entered administration today – just eight months after the company was created, to buy the assets of Internacionale Retail out of administration.
Today’s news puts around 1,000 jobs at risk. Around 90 head office staff were made redundant last week.
PricewaterhouseCooper joint administrator Bruce Cartwright there would be “no [more] redundancies today”, although admitted that unless some of the stores were bought people would “inevitably” lose their jobs.
However, he said he and fellow joint administrators Lyn Vardy and Toby Underwood would be looking to have “an open dialogue with employees and landlords” to enable Internacionale to keep trading from as many stores as possible.
Cartwright said stores could stay open for “hopefully at least a few weeks, but it could be longer”.
“I would hope that we would realise the stock over a number of months, but we will have to see how it will work out,” he said. “We need the landlords – clearly we need the employees, so that means we would pay their wages.”
This week’s ruling over gaming retailer Game means that landlords are now entitled to receive rent on an ongoing basis throughout the period of an administration, which Cartwright said gave him “clarity of our position”.
“We plan to have a very open dialogue with landlords,” he added. “There is a track record behind this brand and this company. It doesn’t make it an easy proposition to sell brand value but we are still going to try.”
When asked how the administrators would keep suppliers – some of whom say they are owed six-figure sums - on-side, Cartwright said any contract agreed from this point would be honored by the administrators.
“We can only continue to trade if we have the buy in of the suppliers that we need – otherwise we are just selling off the stock we have,” he said. He was unable to comment on whether suppliers would be paid for stock currently being sold, saying it would depend on their ranking as a creditor.
There was however some good news for those who were made redundant prior to Internacionale entering administration. More than 100 letters are being sent out to ex-staff today with claim forms that should be filled out and returned to PwC to enable the business to collate the details.