Jones Bootmaker is on “robust footing” and is finalising plans for store refits and an ecommerce revamp, according to chief executive David Short.
Speaking to Drapers, Short sought to reassure suppliers that Jones has a secure future after its sister company Brantano UK fell into administration in January.
He said Jones will refit at least 15 of its 110 UK stores in 2016, as well as embarking on an upgrade of its IT facilities, including replatforming its website.
The majority of stores lined up for the revamp will be in greater London and major provincial towns. Jones has 110 stores and 13 concessions in the UK in total.
In response to suppliers’ concerns over the future of the chain, he said: “It’s disappointing that a small number suppliers fail to appreciate Jones as a completely separate entity with a different legal and financial structure. Jones is on a robust footing and there are significant investment plans in place.
“When Alteri [Investors] bought the business we retained our dependency on [Jones and Brantano UK’s former owner] Macintosh’s IT and ecommerce services. We have a roadmap in place to take control of both areas and we have already spent a considerable amount of money.
“We are also working hard to improve our own label business, putting more emphasis on product design.”
Tony Barrell, Mike Jervis and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed joint administrators of Brantano UK on January 21. Jones was unaffected by the move.
As reported last week, Drapers understands more than 20 parties have expressed interest in buying Brantano. It is understood that a deal could be confirmed as early as next week.
The Brantano in Thanet, Kent, is holding a closing down Sale. However, last week the administrators insisted all 140 Brantano shops and 60 concessions are still trading.
They are offering discounts across the chain as part of a strategy to drum up interest in the business and maximise returns for creditors.