LK Bennett has gone into administration, closing five stores and making 55 redundancies.
The fashion retailer appointed Dan Hurd, Hunter Kelly and Craig Lewis of accountancy firm EY as joint administrators of its UK business today. Its international operations are not included in the administration.
It will close five stores: Meadowhall in Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool and Brent Cross and Westbourne Grove in London. These closures will result in up to 55 redunancies.
The company employs 480 staff in the UK across 39 stores, 37 concessions and its London head office.
Its website was taken offline earlier today.
Hurd said: “Amid tough trading conditions for retailers, the company has been further impacted by significant rent increases and business rate rises. Linda and the management team therefore made the difficult decision to place the Company into Administration, to protect the future of the business.”
“A sale process for the business has commenced. Trading will continue as normal, although web sales will be temporarily suspended, to allow the administrators to work with the company’s trading partners, to ensure customer orders can be processed and delivered as usual.”
“LK Bennett is a strong luxury UK brand, the new season collection was critically acclaimed and recent trading is up, which we hope will be attractive to prospective buyers.”
The news comes after the womenswear business filed a notice of intention to appoint EY as administrator last week, if no new investment could be found.
Bennett previously appointed AlixPartners to undergo a strategic review of the fashion retailer, before axing the consultancy firm shortly afterwards.
In its most recent results, for the year to 31 July 2017, LK Bennett showed an operating loss of £5.9m.