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Bargain Booze owner set to go into administration risking 2,500 jobs

Conviviality says it is exploring options for a potential sale of all or parts of the business

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Thursday 29 March 2018 08:38 BST
Toys R Us and Maplin collapse into administration

The owner of Bargain Booze has said that it intends to appoint administrators within the next 10 business days “unless circumstances change”, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

In a brief statement, Conviviality said that it intends to keep trading and to work alongside advisers “in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders”.

It said that it is exploring options for a potential sale of all or parts of the business.

Shares in the company, which are listed on the AIM division of the London Stock Exchange, will be suspended pending further notice.

Conviviality is the latest in a string of high street names to succumb to financial pressure. In recent weeks the company has issued a string of profit warnings and its chief executive has stepped down after the group revealed a £30m tax bill it had previously not disclosed.

So far this year, both Toys R Us and Maplin have filed for administration, putting thousands of jobs on the line. New Look has announced that it is shutting dozens of stores, and investors and shoppers are also fretting over the future of chains like Moss Bros, Carpetright and Mothercare.

Sluggish wage growth, a jump in inflation and the rapid rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon are largely to blame for the retail industry’s woes.

Conviviality had been trying to raise £125m from investors to help bridge a funding squeeze, but on Wednesday the company said that there had been “insufficient demand” to raise equity.

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