Jobs lost as Kinky Knickers maker falls into administration

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LONG-standing underwear manufacturer Headen & Quarmby – which makes the Kinky Knickers brand created by Mary Portas – has axed more than 30 jobs after being placed in administration.

The Middleton-based company, which was featured on the 2012 Channel 4 documentary Mary’s Bottom Line, where the retail guru sought to help revive British manufacturing, is now up for sale.

A poor Christmas and a lack of orders for this year has been blamed for the company’s demise.

Administrators from the Manchester office of BDO are handling the sale of the business, which was founded in 1935.

Headen & Quarmby, which was family owned until the insolvency, takes its name from founders Mary Headen and Eric Quarmby.

At its peak the factory employed 60 seamstresses, cutters, designers pattern makers, pressers and packers.

BDO business restructuring partners, Kerry Bailey and Patrick Lannagan, are handling the administration.

A statement said: “The joint administrators are currently investigating options to recommence trading and fulfil customer orders, with a view to effecting a sale of the business as a going concern.

Kerry Bailey said:  “A drop in post-Christmas orders from key customers and a decline in sales volumes has significantly affected the business and resulted in a deterioration of its working capital position. However, we are doing everything we can to try to secure a future for the business, and we are hopeful of securing a sale.

“To that end, the administration team would welcome approaches from commercial parties interested in acquiring the business or assets.”

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