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MBT’s bankrupt owner says brand’s UK future not under threat

The parent company of comfort footwear brand MBT has sought to reassure UK stockists about the brand’s future after filing for bankruptcy last week.

Masai Marketing and Trading AG – which operates in the UK as Masai GB Ltd – filed for bankruptcy in its home market of Switzerland last Friday, leaving a question mark over the MBT brand’s future in the UK.

But a spokesman for MBT told Drapers that the Masai GB arm of the business remains solvent and will continue to trade as normal with its 100 stockists and via its eight standalone stores and four outlet stores. A buyer is being sought for the international assets of the MBT brand.

The spokesman said: “All our stores will remain open and we are in the process of speaking to all our wholesale stockists to assure them they will be unaffected. MBT will continue to grow in the UK.”

However, stockists said they felt MBT had lost its way in recent years. Tony Kainady, owner of comfort footwear indie Footwise in Kensington, west London, said: “We used to buy loads and did really well with it but since 2009 it hasn’t been selling nearly as much and we’ve cut right back.”

Another stockist added: “They stopped listening to what the customer wanted and refused to move with the times. I’m not sure the brand can ever be resurrected to what it was.”

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