556 jobs saved by Greenwoods deal

Greenwoods store in Bradford city centre

Greenwoods store in Bradford city centre

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Business Reporter

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.

Comments (5)

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8:06pm Fri 23 Jan 09

Mike Strutter says...

Hold on a minute here.

So Bosideng acquired 50 % stake in October for £50m and then it goes into administration yesterday with Bosideng still holding 50% and is sold to Bosideng today.

????

Am I missing something here or what ?
Hold on a minute here. So Bosideng acquired 50 % stake in October for £50m and then it goes into administration yesterday with Bosideng still holding 50% and is sold to Bosideng today. ???? Am I missing something here or what ? Mike Strutter
  • Score: 0

8:43am Sat 24 Jan 09

shadowfax33 says...

i wonder how many of the said 23 job losses will involve the directors or once again is it just left to the ones who have worked so hard to make the profits happen, who loose their jobs.!!
i wonder how many of the said 23 job losses will involve the directors or once again is it just left to the ones who have worked so hard to make the profits happen, who loose their jobs.!! shadowfax33
  • Score: 0

9:56am Sat 24 Jan 09

Garbage says...

Its good to see that they have managed to save Greenwoods unlike EmpireDirect. I had lost money on goods ordered at Empire. I have since ordered from www.digitaldirect and received them. Worrying times with even names like Currys struggling as well. Just make sure that you use a credit card so that your money is safe.
Its good to see that they have managed to save Greenwoods unlike EmpireDirect. I had lost money on goods ordered at Empire. I have since ordered from www.digitaldirect and received them. Worrying times with even names like Currys struggling as well. Just make sure that you use a credit card so that your money is safe. Garbage
  • Score: 0

9:57am Sat 24 Jan 09

Garbage says...

Its good to see that they have managed to save Greenwoods unlike EmpireDirect. I had lost money on goods ordered at Empire. I have since ordered from www.digitaldirect.co
.uk and received them. Worrying times with even names like Currys struggling as well. Just make sure that you use a credit card so that your money is safe.
Its good to see that they have managed to save Greenwoods unlike EmpireDirect. I had lost money on goods ordered at Empire. I have since ordered from www.digitaldirect.co .uk and received them. Worrying times with even names like Currys struggling as well. Just make sure that you use a credit card so that your money is safe. Garbage
  • Score: 0

9:26am Thu 29 Jan 09

former supplier says...

As a former supplier to Greenwoods we are owed tens of thousands of pounds with absolutely zero chance of getting paid.

This is a pre-packed / pheonix arrangement without any doubt.

The former Directors are sitting pretty, probably having already sold their shares to Bosideng.

Until the government put a stop to this practice it will unfortunately continue hurting many more legitimate organisations.
As a former supplier to Greenwoods we are owed tens of thousands of pounds with absolutely zero chance of getting paid. This is a pre-packed / pheonix arrangement without any doubt. The former Directors are sitting pretty, probably having already sold their shares to Bosideng. Until the government put a stop to this practice it will unfortunately continue hurting many more legitimate organisations. former supplier
  • Score: 0
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