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Stylo suspends shares — despite a strong online presence

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It’s beginning to look as though a good website may not be enough to save a troubled high street retailer.

Family-run Stylo, established in 1935 and first floated on the stock market over seventy years ago, requested suspension of its shares early on Monday “pending clarification of its options” and by lunchtime Barratts and PriceLess were in the hands of administrators.

The shoe retail specialist owns 168 high-street Barratts stores and 30 concessions within Bay Trading plus over 200 PriceLess discount shoe stores and a series of online-only pure plays.

Last October Stylo implemented a top of the range ecommerce platform from Salmon, built on IBM WebSphere Commerce Enterprise Edition. The same month, though, Stylo reported a pre-tax loss of £9.7m for the 26 weeks to August 2 and, in a trading statement on Friday, the firm said that “Given the difficult economic environment that has affected the retail sector, margins continue to be impacted and the outlook for the company remains challenging.”

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