Footwear chain Dune weighs CVA amid high street carnage

·1-min read

The high street shoe chain Dune Group is to kick off a fresh round of talks with landlords as it seeks to cut costs and navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News has learnt that the privately owned retailer has appointed advisers from KPMG to help it review strategic options that could lead to a restructuring process called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Dune was founded by Daniel Rubin in 1992, and now has 43 standalone stores and a workforce of roughly 1200 people.

It also trades from approximately 175 concessions, some of which have been affected by the liquidation of Debenhams' estate.

The chain's stores have all been closed for much of the last year because of the series of lockdowns affecting non-essential retailers across Britain.

Mr Rubin, who remains Dune's chief executive, said: "The trading environment continues to be extremely tough, and like many other high street retailers, we are reviewing all aspects of our business to ensure we're in the best position possible to navigate our way through this difficult period.

"We've had constructive dialogue with our landlords since the start of the pandemic, but we now need to engage with them further if we are to safeguard our future.

"To this end, we have appointed KPMG to review options specifically in relation to our property portfolio, and to assist us with our negotiations with stakeholders as we seek to manage our business through the months ahead."

Insiders said that a CVA was not certain to be launched, and would depend on the progress of talks with landlords about a possible switch to a turnover-based rent model.

Other shoe retailers including Clarks have turned to emergency restructurings to secure their survival during the COVID-19 crisis.