Forty-seven M&Co shops are closing with the loss of more than 380 jobs at the high street fashion retailer after its parent company went into a pre-pack administration.
M&Co’s previous owner Mackays Stores has gone into administration, with the business’s assets and trade being sold immediately to M&Co Trading Ltd. Most of its 2,600 staff have transferred to the business under TUPE arrangements, but 327 people working in the 47 M&Co shops that closed have been made redundant, as have 54 non-retail staff.
Deloitte restructuring specialists Michael Magnay and Gavin Park were appointed joint administrators. Magnay said: “Like many high street retailers, M&Co has been seeking to address a number of underlying business challenges in the current UK retail environment, which have been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19.
“The transaction sees the majority of the stores continuing to trade, protecting the employment of many of the company’s staff. However it’s clearly disappointing that a number of stores have had to close, resulting in today’s redundancies. We will provide all necessary support to those who have been impacted.”
M&Co operates in a sector that was hit particularly hard during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Clothing stores were deemed non-essential and although many fashion retailers saw a jump in online sales these have generally failed to make up for the effect of stores being closed for three months. The restructuring of M&Co sees it cut the size of its store estate by more than a fifth.
M&Co now trades online – where it is currently holding what it bills as its biggest ever sale – and via 215 shops in the UK. The retailer first opened more than 50 years ago as Mackays, a family business with six shops. Since then it has grown its business significantly and become a multichannel retailer, while changing its brand name to M&Co.