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Shock exits add to turmoil at MK One

MK One founder Mark Brafman and director Michele Brafman are understood to have left the business this week, just six months after they helped to rescue it.

Mark Brafman, who led the deal to save the business from administration in May, is understood to have stepped down this week while Michele Brafman, who is also Mark
Brafman’s wife, resigned from her position last week, according to documents filed at Companies House.

Buying director Dolly Deacock has also resigned as a director but was still working at the business this week.

Bali Singh, a fashion supplier who is understood to have invested in the MK One rescue deal in May, has taken over the running of the business.

Brafman was part of the team who bought 100 of the chain's 172 stores out of administration in May via a new company called Jet Star Retail.

However, it is unclear as to how successful the chain has been since the rescue deal.

Industry speculation suggests MK One may be facing difficulties in getting suppliers to work with them after they were stung by the collapse of the business six months ago.
Deloitte, which handled the administration of MK One earlier this year, warned suppliers they would receive a maximum of 1p for every £1 they were owed.

A former MK One supplier, who decided to stop supplying the retailer after the rescue deal, questioned the strength of the retailers’ buying team. He said: "Since Mark took over, there has been no real buying operation. Suppliers were willing to work with MK One, but it was only Mark and Dolly doing the buying – the business had no dedicated buying team."

Another source added: "MK One seems to be having difficulty with suppliers and getting enough stock. Some suppliers are reluctant to deal with the retailer at all because of its history."

In September, Brafman rebranded the business back to its original name of Mark One, although no store fascias have been changed, but industry insiders said more than a name change was needed to get the business back in shape.

MK One confirmed the departure of Mark Brafman but declined to comment further.

Readers' comments (1)

  • On our local Mark One, the windows have been plastered with a sticky, proudly stating ''How can something so good be so cheap?'' (I think that's the exact sentence) hoping to entice customers in.
    I walk past it on the way to the bank and it's always deserted despite being sandwiched between a Topshop and a New Look.

    For half term, someone decided to do outsize mannequin week again.

    Cheap is no longer enough of a selling point.

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