Store Twenty One: hundreds of workers to lose jobs

Store Twenty One

More than 500 jobs are under threat after fashion retailer Store Twenty One agreed to close 77 shops as part of a rescue deal with landlords.

The company said the shops were "not viable" even if they could have negotiated cheaper rents.

Store Twenty One has secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) - a form of insolvency - with landlords.

That deal will allow the company, founded in 1932, to pay less rent on more than 100 of its remaining stores.

The arrangement, struck last week, will save about 1,200 full-time jobs, the company said.

Pravin Soni, director of Store Twenty One, said it had been a "very difficult time" for staff, but that the firm looked forward to making the business "a success for many years to come".

James Keates, restructuring partner at Shoosmiths law firm, said the "complex arrangement" would make the business healthier and save hundreds of jobs.

The group's Bewise and QS businesses have already called in administrators.

The retailer was originally known as Quality Seconds, and then QS, but was rebranded as Store Twenty One after being acquired by Indian textiles group Grabal Alok in 2007.

The CVA for Store Twenty One is the latest hurdle for the High Street and comes in the wake of the BHS collapse, with the loss of up to 11,000 jobs.

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