200-year history no comfort for Viyella

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Viyella, one of the oldest names in the British clothing industry, has joined the victims of the recession. Its womenswear section went into administration, though other parts of the business are still trading.

Hundreds of jobs are at risk, but a statement from the company yesterday said it was confident a buyer could be found to take over the brand name.

The firm, which traces its origins to 1784, employs about 450 people, has annual sales of £30m, and operates 41 standalone stores, including a store in Regent Street, central London, and 63 concessions in department stores such as House of Fraser, Allders and Fenwicks. It recently invested millions of pounds in its stores in Glasgow and Bath, and created the first Viyella online shop last year.

The administrator, Andrew Turpin, said: "The Viyella brand is trusted and respected both at home and abroad, and we expect that the prospect of a sale of the brand and the infrastructure will raise significant interest amongst other retailers. Indeed we have already been contacted by interested parties."

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