Online Viyella retailer set to call in administrators

A Derbyshire firm which sells items of heritage clothing brand Viyella to consumers and independent retailers throughout the UK is set to fall into administration, understands.

Morrison McConnell, which runs the website from an office in Riddings, has posted a notice of appointment to appoint administrators through law firm Browne Jacobson.

Viyella was formed in 1874 and had a huge mill at Pleasley on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, but fell into administration into 2009 only to be bought by Austin Reed, which itself fell into administration in 2016 and rescued by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

In its latest accounts, made up to the end of December 2022, Morrison McConnell had assets of just over £605,000, but owed creditors some £953,000.

A statement in the accounts said: “The directors have taken steps to improve the financial results of the company, with the launch of multiple new websites, directly aimed at the higher margin ‘direct to consumer’ sector.

“The continuous introduction of seasonal collections covering all the brands within the company’s portfolio will drive the wholesale business, with various collaborations and key accounts planned into 2024 to celebrate [Viyella’s] 240th anniversary.

“Product development is already underway to address the company’s historic sales imbalance between strong Autumn/Winter season and weak Spring/summer performance, with a unique proposition within the company’s operating sector becoming available to pre-order during Q3 2024.

“With these actions in place, forecasts have been prepared for the next 12 months and the outlook is positive with both turnover and contribution improving.”