Mary Portas' Kinky Knickers makers falls into administration & sheds 35 staff

The Middleton-based company, which was featured on the 2012 Channel 4 documentary Mary’s Bottom Line, where the retail guru sought to help revive British manufacturing, is now up for sale.

The news comes on the day that the ONS figures showed a rise in high street sales but the company reported that a poor Christmas and a lack of orders for this year has been blamed for the company’s demise.

Headen & Quarmby, which was family owned after being founded in 1935, until the insolvency, takes its name from founders Mary Headen and Eric Quarmby.

Administrators from BDO are handling the sale of the business, which at its peak the factory employed 60 seamstresses, cutters, designers pattern makers, pressers and packers.

A statement issued by BDO’s Kerry Bailey and Patrick Lannagan, handling the administration said: “The joint administrators are currently investigating options to recommence trading and fulfil customer orders, with a view to effecting a sale of the business as a going concern.

Kerry Bailey said: “A drop in post-Christmas orders from key customers and a decline in sales volumes has significantly affected the business and resulted in a deterioration of its working capital position. However, we are doing everything we can to try to secure a future for the business, and we are hopeful of securing a sale.

“To that end, the administration team would welcome approaches from commercial parties interested in acquiring the business or assets.”

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