LK Bennett: Around 500 jobs at risk as retailer falls into administration

Fashion retailer LK Bennett has collapsed into administration putting close to 500 jobs at risk.

The high-end womenswear chain informed staff last week that the administrators would be called in unless a buyer could be found.

The brand, known as a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, has 41 shops and 480 staff. It becomes the latest in a string of high street and retail failures in the last 12 months.

In an email to staff last week, founder Linda Bennett said she had “fought as hard as I can, with all your help to turn the business into the success that I know it deserves to be”.

“These are difficult and unstable times, and we are doing everything we can to identify the best way forward,” she said.

Ms Bennett stepped back from the brand in 2008 before returning in 2017 as a consultant.

She invested £11.2m into the group upon her return to ownership but has been unable to turn its fortunes around.

LK Bennett made a loss before tax of £47.9m for the year to 29 July 2017.

Since the beginning of 2019, HMV, Mahabis and Patisserie Valerie have all gone into administration, although all three have since found new owners.

Last year fashion brands Coast and Orla Kiely both went bust in 2018, as did department store House of Fraser, which was subsequently bought by Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley.


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