Footwear suppliers faced another blow to business this week as footwear retailer Treds went into administration, just two weeks after fellow shoe retailer FYFO collapsed.
The 21 stores belonging to the company are continuing to trade while administrators Ross Connock and Zelf Hussain of PwC try to find a buyer. All 165 staff have retained their jobs for the time being.
In an updated statement, administrators said they were “pleased with the interest shown and are exploring this further with a number of parties”.
However, those in the industry have been left feeling more pessimistic.
One footwear brand who spoke to Drapers anonymously said: “I’m not sure who would buy it. They’re all in nice locations but, arguably, they have a lot of the same product that is already on the high street. It’s more difficult to sell than a specialist retailer like Shuropody.”
The source added that he anticipates more closures throughout 2019: “I’m particularly concerned for independents who have faced rising rates and rents at a time when consumer confidence is at an all-time low. I don’t think this is the end of it, I think unfortunately we’ll see more businesses going under.”
Sue Axon, operational director at Ruby Shoo, which supplies Treds, described the news as “a real blow”: “Treds was a great outlet and I’m sad to see this. When you take the product out of the high street you decrease its visibility. Shoes really need to be sold in a store.”
She added the news had been expected: “The feedback we had from the sales team was that the stores were not performing well, there was a lack of communication from them – the usual tell-tale signs.
“I don’t think Treds made the most of online. A lot of people commented that there was a lot more choice in the store. The shops could have been better too. Our sales team said they looked a bit dirty and uncared for.”
Another supplier to Treds said: “There was a sense that this might happen about a year ago when our credit insurance was reduced.
“I’d love for them to come back in some form, but people are shedding stores right now, not obtaining them.”