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Almost 4000 jobs are under threat as Barratts and Priceless Shoes calls in the administrators. The Barratts Priceless Group is under the control of Michael Ziff, and includes 371 concessions and 191 stores. The group has fallen into administration, the second time since 2009.

The announcement came just 24 hours after Blacks Leisure, outdoor clothing specialist declared that they were looking for a buyer. Peacocks are also discussing store closures, with a possibility of 200 stores being closed. According to Deloitte, the administrators, tough economic conditions have played a large role in the recent events. The unseasonable milder weather has affected sales of winter lines, in addition to competition from stores like Primark. Deloitte has said that it will maintain the Barratt stores as a going concern in an attempt to save 3,840 jobs.

In 2009, the group entered administration but 160 stores out of the 280 were purchased by Ziff, who was chairman of the Stylo group and an experienced shoe retailer. Accounts filed at Companies House show that the group made £6.1 million pre-tax profit in the 18 months to July 2010. Richard Segal became of Barratts in October and said:

“Like many other retailers, the company is currently operating in a challenging economic environment and I look forward to working with the executive team to accelerate its adaptation to recent market changes.”

A number of retailers have hit problems in the wake of the economic downturn. Consumers have reduced spending as the cost of essentials has risen, leaving retailers fighting for survival.

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