The company’s outlets have experienced difficult market conditions in the last 2-3 years with restrained consumer spending, price competition affecting margins, high location costs and a tendency towards web-based buyers. After a disappointing Christmas and trying to restructure the company’s cost base, the directors have been forced to admit defeat.
Base Retails Managing Director, Marc Granditer commentated:
“Rents are always difficult, but generally landlords are receptive. The real problem is the rates – the absurd situation in some of our stores where we were paying twice as much rates as rent. Our family had provided significant financial support to keep the business going in the hope of an upturn but, after poor Christmas trading, we simply had no choice but to take this action.”
Administrator James Tickell from Portland commented:
"Working closely with management, we have been forced to take the difficult decision to make 68 redundancies and close four stores immediately at Lakeside, Watford, Bromley and Luton. Trading is continuing at Basildon, Bluewater, Romford, Stratford and White City in the short term whilst we review their prospects and assess stock ownership with an expected significant level of retention of title claims from suppliers. Without wishing to prejudge the situation, it is likely we shall have to make further closures shortly."
Marc Granditer confirmed that the children’s retail business operating through Base Childrenswear Limited is continuing and is not affected by the administration.