A rescue deal for troubled shoe retailer Brantano has been agreed, which will see almost 1400 jobs saved.
However, the deal - which saw investment company Alteri buy 81 shops including the Bedford store and 59 small concessions - does not extend to a further 58 stores, meaning that 600 people still risk losing their jobs.
Administrators PwC have been running the remaining Brantano stores while a buyer was sought and had said that redundancies would be “inevitable” if a buyer was not found.
In the end, it was Alteri - the firm which owned Brantano and which originally put it into administration - whose offer was, according to Robert Moran of PwC, the “best outcome for creditors and employees”.
PwC’s lead administrator Tony Barrell, added: “We continue to trade the remaining Brantano business whilst discussions with interested parties continue. Unfortunately, in the event further sales are not possible, redundancies will become inevitable. We are working closely with Brantano employees and offering every support possible through this difficult period.”
Brantano, which was founded in Belgium and which expanded into the UK by purchasing 47 Shoe City branches in 1998, went into administration in January following poor trading in the face of online competition during the mild winter.