Coronavirus shutdown gives shoe retailer the boot

Ian Defty, partner, and Richard Toone, managing partner, of restructuring firm CVR Global have been appointed as joint administrators to south-east based Johnsons Shoes Company, which has entered administration after succumbing to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

The retailer - which first opened its doors over 50 years ago - has stores in Windsor, Newbury, Staines, Teddington, East Sheen, New Malden, Twickenham, Walton-on-Thames, Northwood, Richmond, Beaconsfield and Farnham.

The family-run business sells high-end men’s and women’s shoes, as well as footwear for schoolchildren and operates its 12 stores under the brands Johnsons Shoes and Bowleys Fine Shoes.

The administrators have opted to keep all of the retailer’s 145 staff furloughed while they actively seek a buyer.

Ian Defty, partner at CVR Global and joint administrator, said: ‘Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown Johnsons Shoe Company lost its ability to continue trading, and it was the final nail in the coffin for a business that was already struggling before the pandemic struck, like many other retailers.

‘The business has traded strongly for many years, but last year was particularly difficult for them as they battled with rising rent and business rates, combined with the increasing competition from online shopping.

‘The business’s products have mass family appeal, and if it can attract a buyer who can help it to adapt and trade, possibly via online channels, then it has a strong chance of continuing the strong legacy it has built up over the decades.’

Brands stocked by the company include Timberland, Ugg, Clarks and Converse. 

Clarks has also reported financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, with all its UK and Ireland outlets shut, and the 195-year old manufacturer has said it plans to cut up to 900 office jobs worldwide as it tries to position itself for a post virus future.

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