Upmarket British retailer L.K. Bennett plans to close up to five stores and move its remaining shops to turnover-based rents under a proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The plan will lead to a small number of job losses as the company tries to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen stores closed under two lockdowns in the U.K. and Ireland this year.

L.K. Bennett currently employs 400 people, with 300 in retail roles. The chain has 18 standalone stores.

A spokesperson for the company told Drapers that sales of eventwear and workwear, “ordinarily our biggest strengths”, had fallen during the pandemic and exacerbated by a slump in the lucrative tourist market.

“Despite our best efforts and the support of all stakeholders, sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021,” the company added.

“While we are likely to see four to five store closures and a small number of job losses, any measures we take aim to protect the rest of the jobs in our store portfolio of 69, consisting of standalone stores, concessions and outlets, as well as head office, and to protect the longevity of the business.”

L.K. Bennett did not respond to requests for comment.