1,300 jobs lost as La Senza folds

 

Lingerie chain La Senza collapsed into administration today triggering 1,300 redundancies and the closure of more than 100 outlets.

Administrator KPMG said it had closed 84 stores and 18 concessions, resulting in more than half of the workforce losing their jobs.

But 1,100 jobs were saved when 60 of its stores were bought by an Arabian retail group Alshaya, which owns stakes in a number of British retailers including Next, Debenhams and Mothercare.

It bought the stores in a controversial "pre-pack" administration deal that allows the assets of companies to be snapped up while its debts are written off.

Alshaya said it would invest around £100 million in the business over the next two years through new products and store designs. It will run the stores as franchises after buying the exclusive rights to the brand in the UK from its US owners Limited Brands.

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of Kuwait-based Alshaya, said: "We are delighted to have reached agreement to buy these La Senza stores - saving jobs, protecting a great brand for consumers and strengthening our UK presence and links.

"This is the first step in a long-term commitment to developing the La Senza UK business, which we believe has great potential."

Alshaya's operations are mainly overseas but it already has a limited presence in the UK after it opened frozen yoghurt Pinkberry in Selfridges and the Westfield centre in Stratford.

La Senza has fallen victim to recent tough trading conditions and the chain has been weighed down by leases agreed by sister lingerie chain Contessa, with which it merged in 2007.

Theo Paphitis, Dragons' Den star and former owner of La Senza, disclosed the pending deal on his Twitter feed over the weekend.

He said: "Good news and bad news re LaSenzaUK heard that Lion has done a deal to sell the business with about 60 shops to Alshaya group."

He added: "The bad news re lasenza is that the other 80 shops will be closed down or put in the hands of Admin KPMG with resulting job losses.Sad!"

Mr Paphitis bought the chain in 1998, revived its fortunes, and then sold his stake in the company to Lion Capital for £100 million.

Lingerie rival Ann Summers was reportedly interested in picking up part of the La Senza estate, as was Triumph and Limited Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret, but it now seems unlikely that they will pick up any of La Senza's business.

The locations of the 60 stores to be saved are not known.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor