AQUASCUTUM, the 160-year old clothing brand which collapsed into administration earlier this week, is to shut its factory in Corby making 115 people redundant.
Administrators FRP Advisory, said yesterday that it had concluded the plant in Corby was not viable due to “loss-making operations and a lack of funding.”
“Whilst a difficult decision, it has been necessary in order to stem on-going losses for the business, and to protect the positions of the 135 remaining employees. We plan to provide appropriate assistance to all affected employees,” FRP said.
All head office and retail operations, which include three high street stores and an additional 16 concessions, will continue to operate as usual.
The company said it was now pressing ahead with discussions to find a buyer for the company and said it had attracted “a high level of interest” from around the world.
Staff at the factory, some of whom have worked there for 40 years, were left reeling yesterday after being informed that their wages would not be paid from next week.
The GMB union said it was taking legal advice following the decision and accused chairman Harold Tillman, of a “pre-meditated agenda”.
“We were told, on several occasions in the last few weeks...that there was nothing to fear or worry about, business as usual,” Rachelle Wilkins GMB regional officer, said.
Tillman bought the brand in September 2009 from Japanese investment firm Renown, spending some £30m in his efforts to turn the business around alongside former chief executive Belinda Earl.
The debt-laden firm has unraveled since Tillman sold its sister brand Jaeger to private equity firm Better Capital for £19.5m this week.