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Gloucestershire Business News

Budget high street clothing store to close

Discount clothing company Store Twenty One has been liquidated, with a loss of 900 jobs.

The retailer, which has shops in Gloucester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury, has been struggling since April when HM Revenue and Customs released a winding-up notice over unpaid tax payments.

The company started in the 1930s as a clothing supplier factory to companies such as Selfridges and Marks and Spencer's.

Swift success of these factories led to the opening of factory outlet stores and later a number of high street stores in the 1970s.

In 1987 it rebranded, and the sale of 'seconds'  to other companies ceased.

Simon Bonney, who is handling the liquidation, said: "It is very sad that matters have got to the stage where all the stores were closed by management on Friday following a prolonged period of uncertainty leading up to the liquidation,"

"We are now in the process of conducting an orderly wind-down and would welcome contact from any interested parties who may wish to purchase assets of the company."

The company, owned by Grabal Alok, an India-based textile company, has been struggling since the 1990s after the expansion of other cheap clothing retailers such as Peacocks and Primark.

Store Twenty One owned just over 200 stores last year, but it was announced in June of 2016 that it would have to close 90 stores as part of a company voluntary arrangement after it dismissed other options including debt for equity swap. It has now had to close all remaining 122 shops.

"The traditional retail sector continues to face significant challenges, not least with the changes in business rates," said Mr Bonney. "The company was founded in 1932 and unfortunately it is another example of the difficulties arising in the current economy."

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