INTERNACIONALE, the women’s fashion retailer, has been bought out of administration by the owners in a deal that safeguards all 1,550 jobs.
The adminstrator, Ernst & Young, said the new owner. Internacionale UK. will close 18 of the 132 stores across the UK.
Internacionale UK will honour customer gift vouchers, orders where part payment deposits have been made for goods, and valid returns.
Tom Jack, joint administrator, said: “High street retailers have faced unprecedented conditions over recent years, and the market for fashion clothing has become increasingly competitive.
“The business has been significantly loss making over recent years and although the directors have sought to restructure and reposition Internacionale, with significant cash investment from shareholders, it has not proved possible largely because of the high fixed costs of the business. This has resulted in the retailer being unable to continue to operate outside of administration.”
The head office will remain and the business will continue to trade without interruption.
The stores that are not included in the sale, including one in Dumfries, will close with immediate effect.
The announcement coincided with the decision to axe 350 employees of Modelzone after Deloitte, the administrator, failed to find a buyer for its 47 stores.
Deloitte said it had begun consultations with employees and was drawing up a closure programme over the next few days. Just two of the branches are located in Scotland, in Aberdeen and Glasgow.
Deloitte said Modelzone gift vouchers would continue to be honoured, but only towards 50 per cent of the purchase price.
Richard Hawes, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “Despite our continued efforts, we have been unable to identify a buyer for the retail business.”
Modelzone hit the wall after it lost out to online competitors and suffered hefty losses on onerous shop leases. Deloitte confirmed it continued to hold talks with potential buyers for wholesaling arm, Amerang.