Follow us


Historic menswear retailer Greenwoods falls into administration

Lauretta Roberts
02 January 2019

Greenwoods Menswear, the 158-year-old Yorkshire-based chain, has become the latest casualty of a tough Christmas trading period and has called in administrators for the second time in 18 months.

At its height in the 1990s the business had more than 200 stores, however it feel into administration 18 months ago and was acquired by Versatile International Trading which saved 40 stores.

It is not clear exactly how many stores the business had at the time administrators were called in but notices had been put up in its branches, which are mostly clustered in the north of England stating: "All outlets of Versatile International Trading Ltd t/a Greenwoods Menswear have now closed for business permanently." Its website has also been shut down.

Founded in Bradford in 1860 as a hatters by Sir Willie Greenwood the business went on to become a complete gentlemen's outfitters but hit the buffers during the last recession in 2009 and entered administration, after which Hong Kong retailer Harvest Fancy bought 87 of its then 92 stores.

By the time it fell into administration again in 2017 it had 68 stores, of which 40 were rescued by Versatile. Versatile directors are listed as Mingju Li and Max Chance Xu, who have interests in clothing, property and trading. It is understood that around 100 staff will have been affected by the closure. The administration is being handled by XL Business Solutions.

The news marks a depressing start for the year, during which retail closures are expected to escalate. Over the Christmas holiday the high street was hit by the closure of HMV but the new generation of digital first, direct-to-consumer brands have proved they are not immune to pressures with upscale slipper brand mahabis being placed into administration just after Christmas.

Free NewsletterVISIT