Five hundred jobs have been saved at an historic Bradford-based clothing retailer which has been sold as a going concern after administrators were appointed to the ailing business.
About 100 jobs have been secured in Bradford and West Yorkshire stores of the firm that began business in 1860.
Greenwoods has been sold by administrators at KPMG to Harvest Fancy Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of Bosideng, one of China’s largest clothing retailers, which will continue to trade the business as Greenwoods Menswear.
In October the family-run Bosideng group paid £50 million to buy a 50 per cent stake in the Greengates-based business from owners Hanson Partnership Ltd.
Richard Fleming and Mark Firmin, of KPMG, were appointed as joint administrators to Greenwoods yesterday as a result of the firm’s increasing problems from the high street downturn.
Until recently Greenwoods had been a growing business but since last autumn its cash position became increasingly difficult due to a reduction in credit terms from suppliers and the weakening pound, which made imports more expensive.
The decline in consumer spending led to a significant sales fall.
Greenwoods Menswear operated 92 stores throughout the UK, selling suits, shirts, ties and accessories and offering a wedding wear hire service.
The business generated turnover of £25.9 million and employed 579 staff, 556 of whom will transfer to the new owner. One store in the Bradford area will close.
Bosideng is a major maker of casual menswear with worldwide sales of £2 billion in 2007 and more than 20,000 employees in China.
Richard Fleming, joint administrator and KPMG restructuring partner, said: “We are extremely pleased to have completed a going concern sale that sees 87 stores remain open, securing the jobs of 556 employees which is 96 per cent of the workforce.
“Against a difficult economic background this is a particularly good result.”
All customer bookings made and deposits paid for wedding wear hire will be honoured by the new owner.