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Shake-up on the cards as Select is rescued

Select owner Cafer Mahiroglu will embark on a strategic review of the young fashion business, after rescuing half of its stores from administration this week in a deal worth £2.5 million.

Mahiroglu, the Turkish supplier who injected £13m into the struggling young fashion chain in January, plans to review the business with merchandising director John Hannah and buying director Debra Bloom, who were part of the rescue buyout team this week.

Select is also on the hunt for a financial director.

Hannah said the team’s first task was to make amends with suppliers and get enough stock into stores. He said: “Suppliers hadn’t been paid over the past five weeks, but we’re debt free now and are working with them.”

He added that the team will review Select’s entire strategy, from “sourcing to stores sales”, and that the management had plans for a “very different” proposition.

“We’re keeping a low profile now, but over the next 12 months you’ll see some new ideas coming through to the high street,” he said.
Andrew Andronikou, partner at Select Retail administrator UHY Hacker Young, said: “Cafer’s vision is to revamp the quality of the product, the aesthetics of the stores and the location of the shops. He wants bigger units in more high-profile locations, particularly in London.”

The directors have not bought back any stores in Wales or Scotland.

UHY Hacker Young is attempting to find a buyer for the remaining 125 stores. About 800 jobs are at risk. Andronikou said that he had received interest from trade players.

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