300-year-old retailer enters administration

A retailer that has been trading in Derbyshire for over 300 years has entered administration.

Bennetts (Irongate) Limited, which trades as the Bennetts Department Store in Derby and Ashbourne, has appointed Paul Mallatratt and Louise Freestone of Bridgewood Financial Solutions as joint administrators.

Bennetts has been a stalwart of the Derbyshire high streets for over 300 years, with the first shop opening on Irongate, Derby in 1734. Despite this, administrators say its customer base has not been sufficient to sustain it through a “very challenging” period on the high street, with the “perfect storm of weakening consumer confidence, increasing competition from online retailers and escalating costs taking its toll on the business”.

The joint administrators will continue to trade both stores as a going concern whilst options for the business are assessed, including a sale. Five redundancies have been made, but the majority of staff have been retained.

Mallatratt said: “Bennetts is an iconic retail brand which, over many years of trading, has earned a reputation for offering good quality products and great customer service.

“Given its pedigree we are hopeful that a buyer can be found so that Bennetts can continue to serve the local community for years to come.”

Customers are being encouraged to continue coming to the store, which will be open between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Saturday. Gift vouchers will continue to be honoured, subject to conditions.