The British family-run retailer Johnsons Shoe Company has fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic and was placed into administration, a procedure which gives it protection from creditors.

On April 23, Ian Defty and Richard Toone of the accounting and law firm CVR Global were appointed administrators of the company that manages 12 stores under the brands Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes located in London and southeast England.

The stores were closed on March 20 due to the pandemic and the administrators have decided to keep the company’s 145 staff furloughed while they seek a buyer. The company was already in difficulty prior to the pandemic due to rising rents and property tax, known as business rate in England, as well as growing competition from e-commerce. The administrators have received expressions of interest but the company remains on the bloc.

The company has been trading since 1952. It retails 27 brands including Gabor, Ecco, Merrell, Timberland, UGG, Sebago, Converse, Clarks, Vans and Geox, according to its non-transactional website.