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Kinky Knickers factory falls into administration

The factory behind Mary Portas’ Kinky Knickers has fallen into administration, with all 33 employees being made redundant.

Headen & Quarmby, based in Middleton, Lancashire has appointed BDO business restructuring partners, Kerry Bailey and Patrick Lannagan, as joint administrators of the company on 15 January 14.

The administrators are currently investigating options to recommence trading and fulfil customer orders, with the intent of selling the business as a going concern.

Kerry Bailey, BDO business restructuring partner, said:  “A drop in post-Christmas orders from key customers and a decline in sales volumes has significantly affected the business and resulted in a deterioration of its working capital position.

“However, we are doing everything we can to try to secure a future for the business, and we are hopeful of securing a sale. To that end, the administration team would welcome approaches from commercial parties interested in acquiring the business or assets.”

As well as an exclusive manufacturing agreement to produce underwear for Mary Portas’s Kinky Knickers range, the factory also produced underwear for a number of high street retailers including Marks & Spencer, Asos, John Lewis and Next.

Initially Headen & Quarmby was contracted to manufacture 5,000 of the knickers as part of Channel 4 documentary The Bottom Line, in which Portas produced the range for London department store Liberty.

The factory took on eight local people, offering them NVQ training qualifications, to meet the order. In November 2012 the company quadrupled its volumes following the success of the project.

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    It shows the difficulty to set up, run and grow a business.
    Do we know the reasons for the difficulties? If sales were down, is it because we had no sales people? products were not creative enough? production issues? ...

    Thierry

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  • Oh Thierry.....maybe the promo buzz from the Kinky Knickers programme died down and reduced the volumes?
    With respect, some of your comments are a bit academic at times.....have you ever worked in a factory?

    Maybe the stores / labels they supply can't / won't pay the price that the garments need to sell for to ensure the factory is profitable......because their end customer won't pay that sort of RP?.......maybe just maybe they were used for trial ranges and, if a style sold well, the bulk production then went overseas. Sadly, that is what we do as a bulk run in the UK factory we use is too expensive for a large docket....but great for a trial range in small quantity.

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