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Exclusive: LK Bennett founding store to shut

LK Bennett’s first ever bricks-and-mortar store, which opened in Wimbledon, south-west London in 1990, is set to close on 29 October. 

Linda Bennett, who founded the company in 1990, had invested £13,000 of her savings and a £15,000 bank loan to open the Wimbledon branch. 

LK Bennett said the store is closing down this month because the landlord is raising the rent by 45% and it would be uneconomical for the business to run. Discount offers of 10% are being given out to customers in the store today. 

The retailer will continue to trade in the Ely’s department store in Wimbledon, as well as several other standalone locations nearby in London.

Rebecca Feng, who runs LK Bennett’s Chinese franchises, bought the UK, Ireland and wholesale business of LK Bennett in April. Feng worked with Darren Topp, LK Bennett’s current CEO, and Andrew Ellis, LK Bennett’s former finance director on her bid offer. 

LK Bennett appointed Dan Hurd, Hunter Kelly and Craig Lewis of EY as joint administrators of its UK business on 7 March. Its international operations were not included in the administration.

As a result of the administration the business planned to close five stores: at Meadowhall in Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool and Brent Cross and Westbourne Grove in London.

LK Bennett confirmed it does not have any other planned store closures and is continuing to trade in standalone stores, in concessions and on the website.

 

 

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