Alworths, the chain that launched in 2009 modelling itself on the collapsed Woolworths, has itself gone into administration.
According to HousewaresLive.net’s sister website DIYWeek.net, the retailer has appointed insolvency and restructuring specialist Leonard Curtis. The case is being handled by Neil Bennett and Michael Healy.
The future of the firm has been uncertain since founder Andy Latham stepped down last month. At the time of his departure, Alworths changed its registered address to that of a solicitor in Redhill, Surrey and confirmed that a restructuring of the business was underway.
Speculation of a pre-pack administration has been rife since then, particularly after Latham was appointed director of a newly-incorporated company, Retail Acquisitions, which bears the same address as the Surrey-based solicitor.
Commenting on the administration Bennett told DIY Week: “This is a business that operates in a very competitive market that has been badly affected by the recent downturn in consumer confidence experienced on the UK high street.
“We are currently continuing to trade whilst we look for a suitable buyer in an effort to secure the business and safeguard job security for its current employees.”
Alworths has 17 stores, the first of which opened a year after the failure of Woolworths. Andy Latham, who was formerly Woolworths’ head of store and concession development, had hoped to grow the chain to 200.