Tie Rack set to shut UK shops by end of year

Tie Rack's UK presence is to be wound up. The owners of the high street name will begin closing the chain's 44 UK stores on Wednesday, reports Mark Kleinman, City editor at Sky News.

The closures could threaten up to 200 jobs.

Sky News' sources said that a closing-down sale is expected to start on Wednesday, with all UK shops shut by the end of the year.

The fate of Tie Rack stores in British airports remains undecided, as negotiations with airport operators over retaining a presence in some, including London Gatwick, continue.

The company, which was founded in 1981, has seen over 15 stores being closed each year and now has fewer than 80 remaining. At its largest, in 1998, it had 450 stores across 31 countries. Tie Rack is controlled by the Italian conglomerate, The Fingen Group.

Sky News reports that Grant Thornton, the accounting firm, has been asked by the owners to canvas prospective buyers of Tie Rack's overseas shops.

Ownership of the Tie Rack brand online will be retained by shareholders.

Tie Rack's Rolling Luggage subsidiary - the chain has around 30 stores - will not be affected by the closures.