The British shoe retail chain has fallen into judicial administration for the third time. The receiver, Duff & Phelps, has been reported to be seeking the sale of Barratts Shoes, which currently operates 75 stores and 23 concessions employing more than 1,000 people in the U.K. and Ireland.
Apparently, Barratts had failed to secure enough financing to pay for pre-Christmas orders. The media are speculating that the chain may dismiss some of its employees and close down some of its stores to prepare Barratts for a sale. They indicate that an unnamed investor had offered to inject some money into the company but then withdraw its offer on Nov. 7.
Owned by Michael Ziff and his family, Barratts was part of his holding company, Stylo, which owned also the more discount-oriented Priceless Shoes shop. After going into receivership in 2009, it was trimmed down to 160 stores and 165 concessions; it went administration again at the end of 2011, leading to the sale of its Dolcis chain and to further streamlining of the store network.
Four years ago, prior to its receivership, Stylo was the third-largest shoe retailing group in the U.K. after Clarks and Shoe Zone, owner of Stead & Simpson and Shoefayre.