680 jobs lost in Barratts deal


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The Independent Online

A deal has been agreed to save most of the Barratts shoe chain but at the cost of some 680 jobs, administrators said today.

The deal, with an unidentified buyer, includes 89 stores, protecting 1,184 jobs, but will see 39 stores and 14 concessions closed, administrators Deloitte said.

Last month, around 1,600 jobs were lost at Barratts after attempts to find a buyer for its concessions business failed, but this did not affect the stand-alone stores.

The shoe chain collapsed into administration in December after unseasonably mild weather further exacerbated already difficult trading conditions.

Chief executive Michael Ziff said "I am delighted that we have been able to conclude this deal and save as many jobs as we have. The last few months have been very challenging but we have a great team in place."

It was the second time the business was put into administration as Mr Ziff, chairman of Barratts Priceless parent company Stylo, bought 160 shops from Deloitte after the chains were put into administration in 2009.

At the time, Deloitte closed 220 stores but Mr Ziff was able to safeguard around 3,000 jobs.

Barratts joins a list of retail failures this year that includes Blacks Leisure, La Senza, TJ Hughes, Jane Norman, Alexon, Habitat UK and Focus DIY.

Elsewhere, reports suggested clothing chain Peacocks, which has 550 stores, was on the brink of administration.