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Store Twenty One issued with winding up petition by HMRC

The parent company of value retailer Store Twenty One has been presented with a winding up petition from HMRC, with a hearing set to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday (May 12).

A petition to wind down the company was presented to Store Twenty One owners Grabal Alok on March 26 by HMRC, Retail Week reported.

HMRC told Drapers it does not discuss individual cases.

In its latest figures on Companies House, Grabal Alok reported pre-tax loss of £17.9m in the year to 30 March 2013. Turnover stood at £93.2m, down from £99.4m the year before.

It is not the first time Store Twenty One has been in trouble. The 180-strong retailer, which started off as a manufacturing business founded in 1932 supplying clothing to retailers including Marks & Spencer, wrote to its landords last year asking for its rents to be slashed.

The letter, which was seen by Drapers at the time, warned that if Store Twenty One was put into liquidation, landlords would take on the burden of additional bills such as business rates and service charges, without any entitlement to rent.

The same month baliffs were sent in to a number of its branches after the value chain failed to pay rent. At the time, it also ceased trading through its website.

Store Twenty One, previously known as QS, has been owned by Indian textiles group, Alok, since 2007. The company was rebranded in 2012 to the more fashionable Store Twenty One format. The business is run by Anupam Jhunjhunwala, who stepped into the role of chief executive in 2008 when his predecessor Findlay Caldwell left the business amid a raft of redundancies at the value chain.

Store Twenty One did not respond to a request for comment.



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