CONCERN surrounds a clothes retail chain as debt collectors are understood to have been called in to the chain over unpaid rents.
It has been reported that debt collectors have been called by at least two landlords because of concerns about unpaid rent by Store Twenty One and that the company will cease trading from its website from Monday.
Store Twenty One employs 1,000 staff and has more than 200 stores in the UK, including a new unit in The Pipeworks, off Coppice Side. The retailer used to be known as QS and sells lingerie designed by the model Katie Price.
However, it is under pressure from the challenging conditions on Britain’s high street and uncertain consumer confidence, which has already led to the collapse of HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster.
The company’s most recent set of accounts for the year to March 31 2012 warn of a seven per cent fall in sales and “one of the toughest years for retailing in the UK”. Annual pre-tax losses expanded from £3.3 million to £19.9 million.
Store Twenty One was initially formed in 1932 as a manufacturing business supplying Marks & Spencer and other retailers. The company opened factory outlet shops in the 1960s and then eventually sold its manufacturing business.