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Greenwoods Menswear saved but jobs lost at King’s Lynn and Lowestoft as stores close

PUBLISHED: 09:01 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:39 24 October 2017

Greenwoods in Kings Lynn
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

Greenwoods in Kings Lynn Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

A suit hire and retail company has been bought out of administration but stores in King’s Lynn and Lowestoft have closed.

Greenwoods in Kings Lynn
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Greenwoods in Kings Lynn Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Greenwoods Menswear went into administration in September citing tough trading conditions but stores in Great Yarmouth and Bury St Edmunds have now been saved after administrators Deloitte found a buyer.

Versatile International Trading bought the majority of the business on October 20 and will save 40 retail outlets, a central warehouse and head office functions – protecting 181 jobs across the UK.

However, 22 stores have closed with immediate effect, resulting in 88 redundancies, including at Lynn and Lowestoft.

Joint administrator for Deloitte Adrian Berry said: “This sale represents the best outcome for the business, which has been trading in administration for over six weeks.

“A significant proportion of the employees now have their jobs protected and we would like to thank all of them for their support during this difficult period.”

Adrian Berry and Clare Boardman were appointed joint administrators over the company, which had a turnover of around £20m, on the September 6. As well as selling formal suits, shoes and accessories, Greenwoods also offered a suit hire service, under its 1860 brand.

The company operated from 63 stores and 2 concessions throughout the UK, with its head office and warehouse located in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

At the time of the appointment there were 318 employees, of which 292 worked in stores, 15 at the head office and 11 in the warehouse.

Greenwoods, which turned over £22.25m in 2016, was founded in 1860 as a hatter’s shop in Bradford and at its peak in 1990s had around 200 branches.

After falling into difficulties during the recession in 2008, Greenwoods entered administration and a Hong Kong-based group bought a large part of the company.

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