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Exclusive: Ark poised to enter administration

Indie mini-chain Ark is poised to collapse into administration - the latest retailer to cave in to economic pressures this week.

Drapers understands the retailer has lined up insolvency firm Begbies Traynor as its administrator, although no one from either Begbies Traynor or Ark returned requests for comment.

Begbies Traynor was recently called in to deal with the administration of York indie Coggles.

Ark, which stocks men’s and women’s young fashion brands including Boxfresh, Religion and Superdry, has 14 stores across England in cities including York, Norwich and Leeds.

It launched in 1992, opening its first store in The Corn Exchange, Leeds and has since grown to employ around 200 people.

Retailers’ cash flows have been hit by rent quarter day this week, which fell on Monday, as the tough UK economy claimed further victims.

Value fashion chain Internacionale filed an intention to appoint administrators on Tuesday (June 25), while Tuesday was the last day of trading for premium Peckham indie Fenton Walsh.

The indie closed this week after eight years of trading, with the business blaming the economic environment and wet summers for its demise.

Readers' comments (11)

  • too reliant on superdry,asos cleaning up young branded shoppers,very sorry to hear though.

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  • Been trying to sell our brand into these guys for ages, didn't get the courtesy of a reply at all initially and then have been dismissed without having the chance to show the collection ever since

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  • Ark suffers from aiming too young, who in turn have little money to spend. Plus some of there more recent openings, e.g Norwich, show that little research was done.

    The previous poster sounds as if his brand has had a lucky escape...

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  • Been trying to sell our brand into these guys for ages, didn't get the courtesy of a reply at all initially and then have been dismissed without having the chance to show the collection ever since

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  • Good retailer with a great point of difference, but has lost their way the last 18 months.

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  • As usual a load of anonymous drapers comments, which i really hate, if you have an opinion and a comment it would be great to see who you are, we have been attacked by anonymous comments from competition recently (proven) and anonymous posts have no place on a trade website in my opinion.
    Tom really sorry to hear about this my friend, hopefully an opportunity to downsize back to a portfolio and size that suits today's climate as It would be a real shame to lose a great street-wear company completely from the high street, a company with good independent values and an understanding of the market.
    For those who never had a chance to trade with Arc, Tom attended lots of trade shows, some research on what he looked like, or an innovative invite would give you the chance to showcase what you do. It’s how we got him to buy Boxfresh in the early days, and whilst we haven’t worked together at Luke, we have had a conversation every year at Bread and Butter as to why we aren't working together.
    I really hope its strategic for all those who could lose their Jobs. Good luck to all the team

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  • Agree with Simon, why anonymous?
    The knowledge of the Ark team is priceless and another fantastic business can be built quite quickly.
    They are clearly respected.

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  • While it is always sad when you see a business fail, some of the comments above are almost straight out of Private Eye's 'Pseuds Corner' for their sheer verbosity and pomposity - Anyone would think Apple had just gone down.

    There is a certain element of denial within the trade when the likes of Ark fail. If a business 'understood the market' or ' (was) fantastic' it wouldn't of hit the buffers. To state anything else is delusional.

    The whole 'style over content/image over profit' scene is tiresome because all those supposedly 'great' businesses were not all that. I can't recall ever reading in Drapers of a single director who looked at himself as the problem rather than blaming the economy, weather or his mother-in-law. It would be so refreshing if a store simply said 'It's our fault'.

    Great businesses don't go bust!

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  • The recession has breeded cheap and unstylish menswear. The time is changing where the music scenes will come back and so will the trends that follow it.

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  • Leslie Docherty

    Another indie goes pop, there must be loads more out there one bad month away from the same fate.
    Always sad to hear, good luck to all concerned with whatever the future holds.

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