Fashion chain with Dorset sites saved from administration - but stores likely to shut

The closed M&amp;Co in Wimborne town centre <i>(Image: Daily Echo)</i>
The closed M&Co in Wimborne town centre (Image: Daily Echo)

A FASHION retailer with branches in Dorset and the New Forest has been rescued out of administration – but its 170 stores are still at risk.

M&Co appointed administrators Teneo Financial Advisory in December last year amid rising costs and weakening consumer confidence.

AK Retail Holdings, which owns Yours Clothing, has bought the brand and intellectual property of M&Co but not the stores.

The men and women’s fashion chain has Dorset branches in Christchurch High Street; East Street, Blandford; High Street, Shaftesbury; and East Street, Bridport. In the New Forest, it has a branch in Southampton Road, Ringwood.

Bournemouth Echo: M&amp;Co store in Southampton Road, Ringwood
Bournemouth Echo: M&Co store in Southampton Road, Ringwood

M&Co store in Southampton Road, Ringwood (Image: Google)

Branches in Wimborne and Dorchester closed at the end of November last year.

According to M&Co’s administration report, a buyer is still sought for the business but appears unlikely. It reads: “At this stage, based on offers received and discussions to date, the joint administrators do not anticipate completing a sale of the company or substantially all of the business.”

As such, administrators could realise the value of the 170 M&Co leasehold and freehold properties to help recover debts. This could mean the closure of all stores and loss of nearly 2,000 jobs.

M&Co had been in administration once before, in 2020, when 47 stores and 381 jobs were lost while the business was restructured and taken over by a new trading company.