Almost 1,900 jobs saved as deal confirmed for retail chain Bensons for Beds

Administrators have announced the continuation of the Accrington-based Bensons for Beds retail chain as part of a pre-pack deal that will save 1,899 jobs.

However, at the same time, the administration of furniture chain Harveys has been confirmed with the immediate loss of 240 jobs.

More than 1,300 Harveys staff have been retained while the business continues to trade in the hope of securing a buyer.

PwC was appointed as administrator to the two businesses this Tuesday.

Alteri Investors, a specialist backer of troubled retailers, owns both businesses.

It was reported earlier last month that it was proposing a restructuring deal that could lead to the liquidation of Harveys, but would save the Bensons for Beds retail chain.

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC deals partner, said: “The group had been facing increasingly challenging trading conditions in recent months, in particular the Harveys furniture business.

“This has resulted in cash flow pressures, exacerbated by the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and customer sales.

“It has not been possible to secure further investment to continue to trade the group in its current form.

“Following our appointment, we immediately completed a sales process for certain business and assets of the group.

“This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing in its restructured form as Bensons for Beds only model, whilst preserving 1,899 jobs.

“The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business.”

He added: “The Harveys furniture related retail and manufacturing businesses will continue to trade in administration whilst all options are explored – 1,330 employees have been retained to support this trading period.

“It was regrettably necessary to make 240 employees redundant due to the economic position of the group.

“We will make every effort to help those affected at this difficult time by liaising with the Redundancy Payments Service and Job Centre Plus.”

Both Bensons and Harveys were acquired by Alteri last year.

The firm struck a deal in November to acquire Blue Group Hold Co Ltd, the owner of Bensons for Beds, Harveys Furniture and upholstery and bedding manufacturers Relyon, Steinhoff UK Beds and Formation Furniture, from Steinhoff International Holdings.