Around half the jobs at East Anglian electrical chain Bennetts have been rescued, with the company being bought out of administration by Hughes Electrical.
Bennetts closed all 16 of its stores after appointing business advisers PKF LLP as administrators on March 10, making 228 members of staff redundant.
As reported this morning on HousewaresLive.net’s sister site diyweek.net, parts of the business are now being bought by Lowestoft-based retail chain Hughes. It will reopen six stores, in Norwich, Cromer and Dereham in Norfolk, Martlesham Heath in Suffolk, Colchester in Essex and Farnham in Surrey.
Bennetts’ online operation will also resume trading.
One hundred employees will be taken on, and former members of staff are being invited to apply for jobs, according to PKF.
Hughes’ managing director Robert Hughes said: “Bennetts tend to operate larger stores in out-of-town locations and are price driven. Hughes operates smaller stores in high street locations where high levels of customer service and advice are paramount.
“The Bennetts stores to be reopened have successfully co-existed with our own and there is every reason to believe this will continue.”
Hughes will provide financial support so that relationships with suppliers can be restored and customer problems resolved.
Hughes added: “Customers and suppliers need reassurance at this difficult time. As one of the country’s largest and most successful electrical retailers, we will be able to do that.
“Hughes has always put customer service first – so while we may have no legal responsibility to do so, we will make it a priority to ensure all unfulfilled orders at the time of the administrator’s appointment are resolved.”
PKF corporate recovery partner Matt Howard said: “We are delighted that we have been able to rescue part of the business and find a buyer in such a short period of time.
“It is regrettable that we have had to make redundancies but that was due to a lack of cash available. We are very confident that the Bennetts name will trade well from these reopened stores and wish them every success.”
Hughes Electrical operates 42 stores specialising in the sale and rental of home entertainment and kitchen appliances.