Brantano shoe retailer goes into administration
Discount shoe retailer Brantano has gone into administration, about four months after the chain was bought by an investment firm.
Brantano employs about 2,000 staff in 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK.
Administrators from PwC are now running the Leicestershire-based business, which they said would trade normally while they sought a buyer.
PwC's Tony Barrell said the chain was a victim of changing consumer habits.
"The continuing challenging conditions for 'bricks and mortar' retail stores are well documented.
"Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers' shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment."
Brantano, along with Jones Bootmaker, was bought by retail investment firm Alteri Investors in October from Dutch-based Macintosh Retail Group. Jones is not affected by the administration.
Brantano is one of the first sizeable retailers to fall into difficulty this year after the key make-or-break Christmas trading period.
BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson said that Alteri specialise in turning around failing business, but "it appears that Brantano's trading position was worse than than expected. Christmas trading, I'm told, was also below expectations."
She understands that a number of possible buyers have already approached PwC.
Mr Barrell added: "The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks.
"Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration."