World’s "oldest department store" enters administration

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 | ADMINISTRATION



Deemed to be the world’s oldest department store, having opened its doors in 1734, Bennetts has fallen into administration following a series of financial struggles.

The company, which has one store in Irongate, Derby and another in Ashbourne, called in Bridgewood Debt Solutions to handle the administration process, and appointed partners Paul Mallatratt and Louise Freestone as joint administrators.

The stores are expected to stay open during the administration process, with hopes that they will be bought by a potential buyer as a going concern.

Mallatratt said: "We’ve got a number of expressions of interest in the company even at this early stage. We’re currently in the process of valuing the business and then we can approach buyers with a sale package.”

Bennetts cited a difficult trading and sales environment as the reasons for its decline, especially given the harsh condition stores on the high street have recently been facing. The administrators also noted increased online competition and escalating costs as reasons for the company’s downfall, 300 years after it opened doors to the public.

Despite this, Mallatratt noted an incredible positive response from the public since falling into administration. He said: “We’ve already had offers of support from the local council and various other agencies who are keen to see Bennetts survive.

“Sales on Saturday went through the roof. They were up 200 per cent in Derby and 30 per cent in Ashbourne and major suppliers are on board in listening to what needs to be done.”

Potential buyers are invited to express their interest immediately.

For more news stories about administrations click here. For all our administrations listings, click here.


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