OFFICE is considering a restructuring programme that could see the footwear chain close some of its 100 branches, according to reports.
The retailer is said to have appointed administrators to draw up plans for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
1 Office could shut some of its branches under restructuring plans, according to reportsCredit: Alamy
Sources told Sky News that a CVA was not yet certain to be launched by Office, as it could still go for other restructuring options.
Either way, the news comes as a fresh blow to Britain’s struggling high streets.
Office was one of House of Fraser’s creditors when it went into administration last year, and was owed £700,000 in payments by the department store chain, according to Sky News.
Earlier this year, the shoe chain reportedly said that “continued concerns over Brexit and depressed consumer demand” had affected its business but insisted that it was “in a strong position to continue to grow”.
The retailer is owned by South African company Truworths International, which bought it in 2015 in a deal worth about £250million.
In addition to its UK branches, Office also sells shoes from stores in Germany and Ireland.
It’s so far unclear whether Office’s overseas shops would be affected by a CVA.
Administrators Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) are expected to finalise a restructuring plan for Office in the coming weeks.
Insiders also told Sky News that Deloitte, the professional services firm, had been brought in by Office’s lenders to advise on their options.
If it goes ahead with the reported changes, Office would become the latest high street retailer to make cut backs to meet consumers’ changing shopping habits.
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Last week, Boots confirmed it plans to close 200 branches within the next 18 months.
And last month, Marks & Spencer announced that it is considering closing more stores as part of a restructure.
Debenhams, Mothercare and New Look have also all closed stores over the past year in a bid to scale back outgoings.
Meanwhile, Philip Green’s high street empire, including Topshop, was this month saved from the brink of collapse after his wife agreed to bail him out of financial woes.
The Sun has contacted Office for a comment.
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