Alexon owners look to close more than half of its high street shops


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The new private equity owner of Alexon is considering closing a substantial number of its stores just weeks after buying the fashion group out of administration.

Sun European Partners has hired the retail consultants Capa to review Alexon's 68 high street stores, of which most are Ann Harvey shops.

It is thought that Sun European – which has rebranded Alexon as Irisa Group – wants to dispose of up to 40 stores. Capa is also advising it on how to reduce its rental payments.

Alexon, which owns seven brands including Ann Harvey, Kaliko and Eastex, appointed KPMG as administrator in late September after it folded under the weight of its debts amid dire trading. But Sun European quickly acquired the group in a pre-packaged administration deal.

Irisa said it started "a complete reorganisation of its property portfolio" in March 2010.

A spokesman said: "The major part of this re-organisation has taken place, but continues in some areas. The group is looking to achieve net growth in the total number of outlets in its estate." This is thought to relate to concessions.