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Future of clothing chain Bonmarché which has 318 shops including one is Wisbech is in doubt

The future of women's fashion chain Bonmarché, which has a branch in Wisbech is in doubt with news the company has appointed administrators.

The chain's 318 shops will remain open while a buyer is sought for the chain.

Tough High Street trading has been blamed by Bonmarché chief executive Helen Connolly who said she had made the decision with "deep regret and sadness".

Bonmarche, the clothing store chain with a branch in Wisbech, has announced it has appointed administrators. (19682645)
Bonmarche, the clothing store chain with a branch in Wisbech, has announced it has appointed administrators. (19682645)

The Yorkshire-based chain, which specialises in clothing for the over-50s, employs 2,887 people.

"We have spent a number of months examining our business model and looking for alternatives. But we have been sadly forced to conclude that under the present terms of business, our model simply does not work," she added.

Ms Connolly said the firm had considered a refinancing or a rescue deal, known as a company voluntary agreement (CVA) with its landlords and lenders - an insolvency process that allows a company to negotiate an agreement with its creditors on how to pay of its debts.

However, Ms Connolly said the firm had decided that these would not "fundamentally change the core challenges facing the business".

"We are sadly no longer in a position to demonstrate to our shareholders that the business can continue as a going concern," she added.

The struggling retailer warned earlier this year that trading had deteriorated.

Administrator FRP Advisory said it had been appointed because the business was no longer able to meet its financial obligations.

It emphasised that trading would continue and no redundancies had been made.

They are hopeful Bonmarché they will be able to find a buyer and say they can continue trading while they market Bonmarché for sale.

Bonmarché is just the latest retailer to be hit by tough trading conditions with growing competition from online retailers and higher operating costs, such as a rising minimum wage and business rates.

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