The British footwear company Oliver Sweeney has permanently closed its five stores as its retail business, Oliver Sweeney Trading, went into administration, a local procedure for creditor protection. Three stores were located in London, one in Leeds and one in Manchester. The company’s online and wholesale businesses are not involed in the insolvency procedure. The company’s chief executive, or cobbler-in-chief in the company’s nomenclature, Tim Cooper expressed sadness about the closures but noted that the online business remains fully operational and robust.

“It is no secret that the economics of retail stores have changed for the worse in recent years. The additional uncertainty of Covid19 has only compounded the problem and made our stores untenable,” Cooper said in a statement on the company’s website.

Oliver Sweeney was founded in 1989 and is known for its handcrafted leather shoes. It will continue to sell directly to customers through its website oliversweeney.com and through select retail partners. The company warned of “inevitable delays” as it transfers store stock to its warehouse.