A MAJOR clothing brand has plunged into administration, putting its 180 stores at risk.
Fashion company M&Co has announced its collapse after losing the same battle “many retailers” have been fighting amid the Covid pandemic.
Staff now say they’re faced with sleepless nights as they anxiously wait to hear what will happen to their jobs.
The long-standing retailer, which sells high-street fashion and homewares, announced it had gone into administration on social media.
One store wrote on Facebook today: “To all our amazing customers, this is not an easy message to convey.
“M&Co have entered into administration as of the 9th December 2022.
“We are hoping for a positive outcome and that our lovely shops will be saved.”
The post said there was now a 25% off discount to all customers, which “will continue for the foreseeable”.
It also said they were no longer able to process refunds, but could exchange goods, and that they would not be scanning loyalty cards, or accepting reward vouchers.
The post continued: “We will be doing our best to keep a positive shopping environment for all our customers and despite the circumstances, we remain positive.
“We hope to see many shoppers about over the Christmas period and will do our best to help in all ways possible.”
The company, which was founded in 1961 and has around 180 stores scattered across the UK, has appointed Teneo Financial Advisory as administrator.
A spokesman for Teneo told Drapers: “Like many retailers, the company has experienced a sharp rise in its input costs, which has coincided with a decline in consumer confidence leading to increased pressure on cash flows and trading losses.
“No immediate redundancies have been made and the joint administrators are exploring a potential sale of the business in an accelerated timeframe, during which time the company will continue to trade from its stores and website.”
But one member of staff was already asking customers to “pray for a positive outcome”.
Frances Thomson, who has worked at one of the Scottish stores for seven years, said the news and fear of what was to come was keeping her up at night.
Frances wrote on Facebook: “Here we go again … can’t sleep.
“To everyone of you, our amazing customers, thank you for all the hugs and the kindness you all showed yesterday.
“It is with a heavy heart, we were given sad news on Friday.
“M&Co my second family has entered administration. We are devastated.”
“This has been the most amazing company to work for. ”
She said her work colleagues and customers had become family and friends.
Frances continued: “Yesterday we all put on a brave face but there was lots of tears from ourselves and from our customers who were devastated by this news.
“Please please pray for a positive outcome that we will be bought over.
“But in the meantime we need your support come shop with us and show that we are needed on the high street.”