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Jigsaw says it could shutter up to 20 stores after footfall dives

TheIndustry.fashion
14 August 2020

Jigsaw has said it could shutter up to 20 stores after seeing footfall plummet following the coronavirus lockdown.

The premium fashion retailer said it has accelerated plans to shake up its operations after being impacted by the virus.

It has launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring proposal to ensure it is “is best placed to navigate the current challenging retail environment”.

The move will see the retailer exit between 10 and 20 of its “oversized or poor performing stores” from its current portfolio of 74 stores.

Stores earmarked for closure include Westfield London, Wimbledon, Bluewater in Kent, Manchester and Birmingham.

The CVA proposal also suggests that some 41 of the remaining Jigsaw stores will switch to turnover-based rent, while the remainder will pay full rent.

It is understood that there will be redundancies as part of the restructuring, but the number of staff affected remains unknown as consultations over the plans take place.

Jigsaw has already shut a number of its stores over the past year as it aims to shed its loss-making sites.

The CVA is part of a wider review of its overall cost base which has seen the company seek to refocus on its core women’s fashion and accessories business.

In recent months, the company has worked with KPMG to assist with negotiations with landlords with a view to securing rents which are based on turnover, after sales were impacted by the crisis.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Like all retailers, Jigsaw is assessing all aspects of its business to ensure that it is in the best position to navigate through this difficult period.

“Last year, Jigsaw started to withdraw from non-core areas of the business.

“However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the retail sector at large has meant that we have had to take further accelerated action to safeguard the future of our business.

“We are working with Cavendish and KPMG to undertake this strategic review of our business and for our conversations with our landlords.

We will continue to work closely with our landlords as we assess our store portfolio.”

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