THE FUTURE of a popular women’s fashion retailer in Wigan is in doubt following its move into administration.
Shoppers were confused to discover the shutters down at Jane Norman in the Grand Arcade shopping centre over the weekend and the company’s bosses made a formal announcement yesterday that it has gone into administration.
The decision, which saw 90 stores around the country, close on Saturday, could put up to 1,600 jobs at risk.
Accountancy firm Zolfo Cooper, based in London, has been appointed as administrators and hopes to find a buyer for the stricken retailer.
Bosses were in meetings all yesterday to establish what will happen to the female fashion chain.
Media reports have suggested that Jane Norman could be sold imminently in a so-called pre-pack administration deal, with department store chain Debenhams, which has a site in the Grand Arcade, and knitwear firm Edinburgh Woollen Mill reported to be among the potential bidders.
Pre-pack administrations are controversial because creditors, such as suppliers, can lose out as some of the debts are scrapped.
A spokesman for Grand Arcade confirmed the store had been closed since Saturday but added centre bosses were waiting to hear from head office staff at Jane Norman to reveal its fate.
Jane Norman, which specialises in selling to women between the ages of 16 and 25, is the latest retail victim of the squeeze in consumer spending.
Last month, the Evening Post reported that Focus DIY, which has a store in Tyldesley Road, Atherton, had gone into administration.