The Cheap Shop Can't Resist Another Go at Administration

Posted on Dec 02, 2020. by NTI

It was that wonderful old crooner, Frank Sinatra (you have heard of him, right?), who sang, 'Administration is lovelier the second time around; Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground; It's that second time you hear your Administration song sung; Makes you think perhaps that Administration, like youth, is wasted on the young'. Although, come to think of it, it may have been 'love', not 'Administration', but it all amounts to the same thing.

The news today (Tuesday 2 December) is that the Cheap Shop enjoyed Administration so much in October 2019 that it has run round the back of the ride, joined the front of the queue and is having another go. Of course, the news media have it that 1,500 jobs are at risk in 225 stores, but with RSM at the helm, stores open from today and no sign yet of any redundancies, there is a whiff of business rescue in the air (or is that roasting chestnuts?).

Our old friend, Philip Day, who has a penchant for low-end brands, completed a takeover of the Cheap Shop (direct translation from the French: source after last year's insolvency intervention, but has made no headway in its recovery, so consumed has he been flogging big jumpers with toggle buttons and dodgy trousers from the back of the Peacocks' van. The Cheap Shop targets the ... 'value' end of the 'fashion market' for the over-50s who can't wait to dress like their great-grandparents but has found little traction in a high street that has been particularly unforgiving with uninspired retail brands this year.

Damian Webb, of RSM Restructuring Advisory, has been appointed as joint Administrator, said: “Bonmarche remains an attractive brand with a loyal customer base."

"No, seriously," reporters asked.

“We will shortly be marketing the business for sale, and based on the interest to date we anticipate there will be a number of interested parties.”

"You're killing us, Damian, stop it ..." we all screamed at him, but it appears he is deadly serious and as we looked around at market stall operators selling a sweater, two pairs of trousers and a travel iron for a combined knock-down price of £9.99, they didn't seem particularly concerned. Maybe Damian knows more about the lower end of the fashion market even than Philip Day; we will have to wait and see.

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