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USC bid to win over suppliers

Young fashion chain USC is in negotiations with its suppliers and landlords after being bought out of administration by its original owner.

West Coast Capital bought back the chain for just under £10 million, but the process is understood to have left several USC suppliers severely out of pocket. Some suppliers told Drapers they had struck deals with the chain and agreed to continue supplying it, but others said they had yet to be contacted by USC about money owed.

A West Coast Capital spokesman said: “USC has more than 45 suppliers and we
prioritised with those suppliers. All brands have pledged their support and we are working with suppliers. I am not going to comment further until it is all sorted out.”

During the buy-back process, USC issued a statement claiming it had bought back up to 43 of its 58 stores. However, Drapers has learnt that administrator PFK still has about 31 stores on its disposal list, and USC is still negotiating with landlords over 16 units. At present only 29 have been secured.

A West Coast Capital spokesman said: “USC has had very productive conversations with landlords, particularly Capital Shopping Centres.” He added that USC would still be a retailer of “significant” size.

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