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Future of jobs uncertain as Greenwoods Menswear enters administration

PUBLISHED: 13:45 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:34 12 September 2017

Greenwoods, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell

Greenwoods, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell

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A menswear retailer with stores across Norfolk and Suffolk has gone into administration, leaving suit-hire customers facing uncertainty.

Alicia Baxter and Cameron Ellis are due to get married on September 23. They are pictured shortly after the birth of their daughter Celena, in 2015. Picture: James Bass. Alicia Baxter and Cameron Ellis are due to get married on September 23. They are pictured shortly after the birth of their daughter Celena, in 2015. Picture: James Bass.

A menswear retailer with stores across Norfolk and Suffolk has gone into administration, leaving its suit-hire customers facing uncertainty.

Greenwoods Menswear, which has shops in King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds, has called in experts from Deloitte to oversee the running of the business.

The administration has left some customers in the lurch, with confirmation yesterday afternoon that the supplier of Greenwoods’ wedding hire suits was terminating its agreement with the company.

Lowestoft groom Cameron Ellis has paid out £436 for suits for the big day but is now having to find an alternative hire firm – and has been told he must claim back his original outlay from administrators.

Mr Ellis, who is marrying Alicia Baxter on September 23, said it had been stressful for the couple.

He said: “We paid the whole bill in February and were told the suits would arrive seven days before the wedding. We have had to pay again and we have no idea if we will be able to claim [the original payment of £436] back.

“We thought everything was sorted and now we have got something else to worry about which is not what you want just before the wedding.”

Deloitte said it understood the supplier had been contacting customers directly regarding unfulfilled Greenwoods orders. Any loss as a result of a failure on Greenwoods’ part could be claimed as part of the administration, added Deloitte.

Administrators said the company employed 318 staff across 62 stores, its Bradford head office and its warehouse.

Joint administrator Adrian Berry said: “We are currently assessing the options available to the company, including a potential sale of the business, and are continuing to trade it in the meantime. No redundancies are being announced at this stage and we are grateful to the employees for their support at this difficult time. This is a challenging time for the UK retail sector, which has affected the company.”

Greenwoods, which turned over £22.25m in 2016, was founded in 1860 as a hatter’s shop in Bradford and at its peak in 1990s had around 200 branches. After falling into difficulties during the recession in 2008, Greenwoods entered administration and a Hong Kong-based group bought a large part of the company.

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