Job losses as sportswear brand goes into liquidation

A sportswear retailer near Sheffield has gone into liquidation with debts of nearly £900,000.

Lucy Locket Loves, which was started in Sheffield, sold leggings, shorts and gym clothing from a warehouse in Dronfield.

Lucy Arnold, the founder of the business, said: “Supply chain issues, warehouse floods that caused downtime and lost stock, rising import costs that slashed our margins, and the ongoing cost of living crisis hit our revenue hard and disrupted our operations.

“These essentially made our traditional business model obsolete.

“In December 2023, we managed to negotiate monthly rent payments for our warehouse, but by May 2024, the owners insisted on reverting to full quarterly payments, which we couldn’t meet.

“This led to their abrupt decision to take control of our warehouse on May 10 with no notice, disrupting our operations and leaving us without working capital.

“Facing no operational ability and mounting financial obligations, we made the difficult decision to enter voluntary liquidation.”

According to its financial report for the year ended 30 April 2023, the business employed an average of 20 staff in 2023.

A statement of affairs by the liquidator reveals the company owes creditors at least £898,000, including £70,000 to the tax man.

Arnold featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of successful young entrepreneurs in 2020. The personal trainer told Forbes she started selling leggings in 2017 while recovering from a back injury.

Arnold has said she hopes to relaunch her brand later this year with a new website, offices and fresh designs.

She added: “This has been incredibly distressing, particularly for our team, who were reluctantly made redundant.

“We deeply regret the impact on our staff and their families and I can never say sorry enough for how abruptly this happened. This has personally been the most upsetting part of this process.”