Duchess of Cambridge's favourite High Street fashion brand LK Bennett set to file for administration

Kate Middleton’s favourite High Street fashion brand LK Bennett is set to file for administration putting up to 500 jobs at risk

  • Brand’s founder Linda Bennett contacted staff today telling them of intention 
  • Last year the British company reported losses of £5.9 million in 2016/2017 
  • Fashion house is latest victim of high street after Orla Kiely collapsed last year 

LK Bennett, a favourite of Kate Middleton who is pictured wearing a £325 silk cream and green polka dot dress from the brand, is set to file for administration

LK Bennett, a favourite of Kate Middleton who is pictured wearing a £325 silk cream and green polka dot dress from the brand, is set to file for administration

A fashion brand favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge is set to file for administration, putting up to 500 jobs at risk.

High street fashion house LK Bennett is said to be filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

The company is said to be working with Ernst & Young to help decide the ‘best way through’ the upcoming ‘difficult and unstable times.’

LK Bennett’s founder, Linda Bennett emailed staff today about the intention to file for administration.

She said thanked staff for their ‘hard work and dedication’ and added that she didn’t regret returning to the brand in 2017 to try and ‘reinvigorate’ the label.

LK Bennett is the latest in a line of big high street names to close stores, which has included  included department store House of Fraser.

Fashion brand Orla Kiely, which was also loved by the Duchess of Cambridge, also went out of business with debts of more than £7.25m (€8.1m) last year. 

British affordable luxury brand LK Bennett was founded in 1990 with the vision of bringing ‘a bit of Bond Street luxury to the High Street’. 

The company is now well known for its signature kitten heels favoured by celebrities including Kate Middleton. 

The brand's founder Linda Bennett emailed staff early today to tell them about the intention to file for administration

The brand’s founder Linda Bennett emailed staff early today to tell them about the intention to file for administration

Kate took a two year hiatus from the brand and wasn’t spotted wearing it on any public occasions after August 2016. 

But she reaffirmed her love for it, just a few months ago – wearing a green and cream silk polka dot dress for a visit to the Evelina London Children’s hospital, in December 2018. 

Kate also chose a teal suit from the brand for her first official engagement with the Queen. 

Founder Linda Bennett came back to the brand in 2017 after leaving in 2008 when she sold a majority stake in the firm for between £80m and 100m.   

In 2018 it was reported that L.K.Bennett reported losses of £5.9 million in 2016/2017, compared with a £100,000 profit in the previous 12 months. 

Total sales also fell by 1.8 per cent to £77.4 million. The company blamed the figures on ‘exceptional costs’ of £28.7 million, spent on corporate restructuring. 

Last August the company was hit by an IT glitch, forcing it to cease all online trading for three days. 

Unhappy customers were stopped from buying anything new from the website, and there was a delay in dispatching existing orders. 

Ms Bennett’s email to staff today said: ‘I came back to the company in 2017 to try and reinvigorate the brand.

The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured in Australia in 2014, has often been seen wearing LK Bennett dresses or shoes

The brand opened with the vision of bringing 'a bit of Bond Street luxury to the High Street'

The British brand opened in 1990 and is now well known for its signature kitten heels favoured by celebrities including Kate Middleton

‘It was a difficult decision, but I don’t regret it for a second. 

‘I have fought as hard as I can, with all your help to turn the business into the success that I know it deserves to be, and we have had some of our best sales figures and reactions to our recent collections that we have ever had.’

The designer then added: ‘We are going to be working with Ernst & Young to help decide the best way through this.

‘I know that these are difficult and unstable times, and we are doing everything we can to identify the best way forward.

‘I want to thank you for your dedication, hard work and continued support.’ 

The British affordable luxury brand was founded in 1990 and Linda Bennett came back to the company in 2017

The British affordable luxury brand was founded in 1990 and Linda Bennett came back to the company in 2017

Which high street retailers have closed shops in 2018/2019?

The year has seen a bloodbath of Britain’s high streets – with many of the nation’s retailers shutting stores and axing jobs.

Here are some of the big name retailers which have lost out as they face fierce competition from the rise of online shopping

Carpetright

The carpet retailer is closing 92 stores across the UK. These closures represent nearly a quarter of all UK Carpetright stores.

Toys R’ Us

The UK’s largest toy shop went into administration in February 201, leading to an estimated 2,000 redundancies.

House of Fraser

The department store chain was on the verge of heading into administration but was rescued at the eleventh hour by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

Maplin

The electronics giant has gone bust, closing shops across the country and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Mothercare

The baby and toddler chain is closing 60 shops across the UK putting up to 900 jobs at risk.

Poundworld

Poundworld announced it was going into administration on June 11 after talks with potential buyer R Capital broke down, putting 5,100 jobs at risk.

Homebase

The DIY chain set to close 42 DIY outlets shut, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk.

Marks & Spencer

The retailer announced in May it plans to close 100 stores by 2022, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

In August stores in Northampton, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Stockton and Walsall all ceased trading.

The year has seen a bloodbath of Britain's high streets - with many of the nation's retailers shutting stores and axing jobs (Poundworld is pictured above)

The year has seen a bloodbath of Britain’s high streets – with many of the nation’s retailers shutting stores and axing jobs (Poundworld is pictured above)

Orla Keiley 

Orla Kiely, the Irish fashion retailer collapsed in September and closed all its stores after a slump in profits.

HMV

In December HMV entered into administration with its flagship London Oxford Street having closed earlier this year. 

Evans Cycles 

Also in December bicycle retailer Evans started its first wave of store closures after having gone into administration in October. Sports Direct bought the retailer out of administration last year but still announced closures and changes to the brand.

L.K Bennett

Fashion brand L.Bennett announced it was filing for administration on March 1, 2019. Linda Bennett sent employees an email early in the morning to inform them of the news before it hit news outlets.

 

 

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