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Gloucestershire Business News

Harveys in administration as 240 jobs lost

Harveys furniture chain has become the latest big retail name to enter administration with the loss of 240 jobs.

Administrators PwC are search for a buyer for the Cheltenham-based business with around 1,300 further jobs at risk.

All of its stores will continue trading while the administrators look for a new owner.

Sister chain Bensons for Beds, which shares several outlets with Harveys, was also briefly placed into administration before being bought in a pre-pack deal by its owners, private equity firm Alteri Investors.

Alteri, which bought the two furniture chains in November, believed to be making £25million of investment into Bensons with the aim of saving up to 175 of its 242 shops.

Alteri chief executive Gavin George told the Guardian: "The restructuring, whilst obviously difficult for Harveys' employees, will safeguard more than half the group's workforce and is a necessary milestone on Bensons' journey to becoming a market-leading beds retailer with a strong omnichannel presence.

"We will continue to work closely with the management team on the turnaround of the business which we believe can have a bright future, despite the challenges facing the retail industry, including the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic."

Joint PwC administrator Zelf Hussain said the group, and Harveys in particular, had experienced challenging trading conditions even before coronavirus restrictions.

He said: "This has resulted in cashflow pressures, exacerbated by the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and customer sales.

"It has not been possible to secure further investment to continue to trade the group in its current form."

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