Moss Bros considering closing stores in rescue deal

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Suit maker Moss Bros, which has 125 stores, is considering shutting shops as part of a rescue plan for the chain.

The firm has been hit by Covid-19 restrictions on big events such as Royal Ascot and large weddings.

As first reported by the Times, it has hired auditors KPMG to prepare it for a company voluntary arrangement, which would allow it to close some shops and reduce its rent on others.

The chain, which has 1,000 staff, did not respond to a request for comment.

KPMG also declined to comment on the news.

Moss Bros was acquired by Menoshi “Michael” Shina, who also owns Crew Clothing, for £22m in early March, two weeks before lockdown kicked in.

Mr Shina later tried to cancel the deal after all non-essential retailers were ordered to close, but was unsuccessful.

In July, City shirtmaker TM Lewin announced it would close all 66 of its UK shops.

It said most of its 700 workers would be laid off as it takes all of its sales online, to help cut costs.

A host of other high street businesses have announced closures and job cuts due to the impact of the pandemic.

Recent examples include:

  • Frankie and Benny’s owner the Restaurant Group, which plans to shut 125 sites and cut 3,000 workers
  • Monsoon Accessorize has announced 545 job losses and the closure of 35 shops.
  • M&S is cutting 7,000 jobs over next three months
  • Sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to cut 3,000 jobs and shut 30 sites
  • Debenhams is closing at least 20 of its stores and slashing 6,500 jobs.

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