KPMG have been appointed administrators of HPJ Retailing and wholesaler Family Jewels, which trades as HPJ Jewellers and Jewel Nation, and have sold the businesses on to Gordon Brothers in a packaged deal. The sale follows a shocking holiday season for the Congleton-based retailer, which was founded in 1980.
The jewellery chain and wholesaler had been loss making for some time as a result of increased competition from non-traditional jewellery retailers and fashion outlets, a statement from KPMG said.
The statement continues, ‘In addition, sales in the lead-up to Christmas were significantly worse than forecast as, in common with many retailers, the snowy weather compounded difficult high street conditions during a trading period that was critical to the business.’
Fifty-two of the 78 retail outlets formed part of the sale, resulting in 329 of its 502 employees transferring to the new companies. The businesses will continue to use the trading names HPJ Jewellers and Jewel Nation. Financial details of the transactions have not been disclosed.
Gordon Brothers Europe investment director Fraser Pearce comments, ‘We are delighted that we have been able to restructure the business. The new, smaller business moves forward on a more positive footing. Through landlord support and reduced rent levels we have been able to protect 329 jobs across the 52 stores.’