Troubled shoe chain Office could close some stores as part of restructuring, Sky reports

Shoe retailer Office could close some of its roughly 100 stores as part of a restructuring programme, Sky News has reported. 

The firm has appointed consultancy Alvarez & Marsal, to draw up plans for a company voluntary arrangement or CVA, a procedure used by insolvent businesses, Sky said citing sources.

Truworths, the retailer’s South African owner, confirmed on Tuesday that Office has engaged A&M while its lenders have appointed Deloitte as their advisers.

“In light of the depressed retail trading environment currently being experienced in the UK, Office has entered into discussions with the relevant lenders regarding potential debt restructuring options,” Truworths said in a statement, noting that the footwear chain has around £45m of debt.

A&M declined to comment.

Sky reported it is not certain Office will launch a CVA and could instead pursue alternative restructuring options.

The troubled chain joins a slew of other recent casualties among bricks-and-mortar retailers as the UK economy sputters and consumers increasingly shop online. 

As recently as Friday, healthcare and beauty retailer Boots announced it will shut around 200 stores, noting “tough” trading conditions on the High Street. 

High-profile failures this year include Debenhams, LK Bennett and OddBins, as well as a near-miss by Philip Green’s Arcadia Group.


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