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Fosters placed in adminstration after banks withdraw support

FOSTERS Trading Company, the menswear retailer which was founded in 1876, was placed in administration yesterday after its bankers said they were no longer able to provide adequate financial support.

The collapse threatens 1,700 jobs and it seems certain that will be closures among the group's 175 high street outlets. The company blamed the trend towards sportswear and branded goods which have affected sales of its denim and casualwear ranges. A disappointing Christmas and a deteriorating market persuaded the bank to call for a review of operations. The directors then applied for an administration order.

Fosters has significant debts and last year recorded a loss of pounds 2.1m on sales of pounds 95m.

The company was formed from a management buy-out from Sears in 1992. It was led by managing director David Carter Johnson.

BDO Stoy Hayward has been appointed administrators. They are planning a rationalisation programme and a three-month review. David Gilbert, a partner at BDO, said: "We are optimistic that our proposals will help transform the business.''