Struggling Jones Bootmaker bought by private equity firm Endless in £10.5m deal

Jasper Jolly
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Jones Bootmaker has struggled recently, despite an eminent history (Source: Getty)

Ailing footwear store Jones Bootmaker has been bought by private equity firm Endless, saving 840 jobs from the total workforce of 1,100 people.

Prospects for a deal had seemed remote earlier this week after Endless apparently pulled out of talks. However, a deal was confirmed today for around £10.5m.

Six shops in Greater London will close, with 46 jobs lost in the capital. They are located in Covent Garden, Langley Court, Jubilee Place, St Christopher’s Place, Wimbledon and Crawley.

Read more: Jones Bootmaker's future hangs by a thread

Endless acquired 72 stores of the 103 under threat from fellow private equity fund Alteri Partners. The other 31 stores or concessions will close immediately, with the loss of 262 jobs.

Alteri filed to put the companies under administration last week, which gave them 10 days to make an appointment.

KPMG were appointed as administrators to Jones Bootmaker yesterday. The administration process can be used to allow companies to leave liabilities and start anew.

Former owner Alteri Partners was set up in 2014 to invest in challenged retailers. It bought Jones Bootmaker and value footwear retailer Brantano at the end of 2015, but has struggled to turn the chains around.

Read more: Potential buyers are circling struggling shoe brand Jones

Steve Absolom, joint administrator at KPMG, added: “Whilst it is always pleasing to preserve a significant number of jobs, sadly a number of redundancies are to be made at the closed stores.

“Over the coming days, our priority is to ensure all employees who have been affected by redundancy receive the information and guidance they need in order to claim monies owed from the Redundancy Payments Office.”

Jones Bootmaker was started in 1857 when Alfred Jones and his wife Emma opened a footwear shop in Bayswater. Nine of the Jones sons were apprenticed to the shoe trade, opening different shoe shops according to the company's website.

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