Go Outdoors set to call in administrators

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Go Outdoors’ owners are set to call in administrators as the coronavirus pandemic pushes High Street retailers to breaking point.

JD Sports, which owns Go Outdoors, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Friday, according to reports in the Sunday Times.

The chain employs about 2,400 staff across 67 stores, specialising in camping equipment, bikes and clothes.

Go Outdoors logo
The coronavirus pandemic has ramped up pressure on the firm.

It did not comment on the reports when contacted by the BBC.

The Manchester-based JD Sports group bought Go Outdoors in 2016 for £112m. But the chain has been struggling in recent years, and forced store closures under the coronavirus lockdown have further exacerbated the firm’s problems.

It is understood the accountancy firm Deloitte has been appointed to oversee the process, which could see the company restructured or requests made for rent cuts or “holidays” for its stores.

A spokesperson for Deloitte told the BBC it had no comment at this time.

Lockdown struggles

While non-essential retailers have since been allowed to reopen in Northern Ireland and England, analysts have questioned how comfortable customers will feel returning to the shops.

Compared with the same period in 2019, footfall was down 45.3% on the first day of reopening in England, according to retail analyst firm Springboard.

Several big brands have been struggling due to the lockdown measures introduced in March to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Cath KidstonLaura Ashley and the UK arm of Victoria’s Secret have all called in administrators. Last week, Poundstretcher announced that it has launched a company voluntary arrangement, an insolvency process that allows companies to continue trading while pushing through store closures and rent cuts.

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