Scots retailer Schuh secures £19m funding amid store sales blow

Schuh, the 40-year-old Livingston-headquartered footwear retailer, said it was taking steps to overcome further disruption in the new year after securing a new £19 million funding deal.

Schuh is headquartered in West Lothian and has more than 120 stores in the UK and Ireland alongside its online operations.
Schuh is headquartered in West Lothian and has more than 120 stores in the UK and Ireland alongside its online operations.

The firm, which has more than 120 stores in the UK and Ireland alongside an online operation, has agreed the finance facility with Lloyds Bank through the Treasury’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

The planned refinancing of its existing facility is said to be just one of a number of measures the retailer has put in place “to ensure it is best-placed to trade through challenges presented by the pandemic”.

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While the business continues to generate revenue through robust online sales, in-store sales are expected to fall “well below” forecast for the current financial year despite a “positive bounce” in trading following the end of the first national lockdown.

Managing director Colin Temple said: “Our business model has stood us in good stead to continue to meet customer demand throughout 2020.

“However, we are not immune from the costs that have been felt throughout the high street. As the all-important golden quarter of trading continues to play out with different tier systems to manage throughout our store estate, it’s only right that we continue to take steps to ensure we’re in the best shape to overcome further disruption in 2021.

“Being able to draw upon the deep retail expertise of Lloyds Bank has naturally been a great asset for us and will continue to be so as we navigate the challenges presented by Covid-19.”

Aled Patchett, head of retail and consumer at Lloyds Bank, added: “schuh has been a mainstay of the British high street for almost 40 years and has developed a loyal customer base in that time.

“Like many retailers, they continue to face novel challenges and so we’ve worked closely together to deliver a funding package that will positively support their long-term financial outlook.”

The retailer was founded in 1981 and has grown to become one of the most familiar names on high streets across the UK and Ireland. US group Genesco bought Schuh in 2011 for some £125 million.

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