Fears for Ballymena’s Bonmarche store after administration

The Bonmarche store in Ballymena.

THERE are fears for the future of 11 Bonmarche stores in Northern Ireland – including Ballymena – after the firm entered administration.

The collapse of the high street retailer has put almost 2,900 jobs at risk across the UK.

There are Bonmarche stores across Northern Ireland including at Belfast’s Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Connswater Shopping Centre and the Abbey Centre.

Other locations include Lisburn, Ballymena and Derry/Londonderry.

The retailer has become the latest victim of the high street downturn after a “sustained period of challenging trading conditions,” administrators said.

The womenswear retailer employs 2,887 staff, including 200 at its head office, and operates 318 stores across the UK.

Tony Wright, Alastair Massey and Phil Pierce, of specialist advisory firm FRP, were appointed as joint administrators for the firm on Friday.

FRP said the company will continue to trade with no immediate job losses, as it assesses options to secure the future of the company.

“All stores remain open and no redundancies have been made,” the administrators said in a statement.

The brand has recently struggled with rising costs, such as business rates and rising wages, as well as dwindling footfall on UK high streets.

It is the second time the business has fallen into administration in seven years, after it was previously bought in a rescue deal by private equity firm Sun European Partners in 2012.

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