LK Bennett fashion chain goes into administration

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High-end fashion chain LK Bennett has called in administrators.

The business, which has 41 shops and 480 staff in the UK, had signalled it was in difficulties last week after lining up EY as administrator if could not find fresh financing.

Earlier today its website had put up a notice indicating it had stopped orders.

It was founded by Linda Bennett in 1990, and counts the Duchess of Cambridge as a customer.

Callers to its customer service line are told that the offices are closed.

Last week, Ms Bennett emailed staff saying 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 had said.

Ms Bennett sold her majority stake in the chain to private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners in 2008, but in 2017 returned to advise the business after the retailer started to struggle, and a short time later bought the company back.

The chain reported an operating loss of nearly £6m in the year to the end of July 2017, the most recent results available for the firm.

The accounts show that on her return, Ms Bennett invested about £11.2m into the business.


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