Carluccio's goes into administration

Carluccio’s goes into administration putting future of 71 restaurants and 2,000 jobs in doubt as rent-to-own giant Brighthouse also collapses

  • Chain, which was founded in 1991, confirmed it had appointed administrators 
  • Said move was part of efforts to save the business and protects its employees 
  • Came as BrightHouse, which has 240 stores, said it was too in administration
  • High Street suffering even before crisis and many shops warning of closures 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The London-based Italian food chain confirmed the future of its 71 restaurants and 2,000 jobs was now in jeopardy after it was forced to go into administration. 

Meanwhile, Brighthouse said 2,400 jobs across 240 stores were now at risk as it urged customers to continue to make the monthly payments required to keep their household goods. 

Mark Jones, CEO of Carluccio’s restaurants poses for a photo at Carluccio’s Garrick Street in London

Carluccio’s, which was founded by Antonio Carluccio in 1991, confirmed it has hired advisory firm FRP to oversee its administration.

The business’s Ireland operation and its franchise business in the Middle East is unaffected by the administration, it said.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: ‘We are operating in unprecedented times and the issues currently facing the hospitality sector following the onset of Covid-19 are well documented.

‘In the absence of being able to continue to trade Carluccio’s, in the short term, we are urgently focused on the options available to preserve the future of the business and protect its employees.

‘We welcome the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and look forward to working with HMRC to access the support it provides for companies in administration and their employees.

‘As this fast-moving situation progresses we will remain in regular communication with all employees and key stakeholders, and will provide a further update in due course.’

The UK-based Italian food chain confirmed the future of its 71 restaurants and 2,000 jobs was now in jeopardy after it was forced to go into administration

BrightHouse today appointed Grant Thornton to keep running the business, and collecting money from customers.

Customers will still get their appliances looked after by the company, until their contracts run out, at which point the business will wind up.But ther e will be no new rent-to-own sales.

Administrators were appointed to Caversham Finance Limited, which trades as BrightHouse, and Caversham Trading Limited (CTL), which supports the business’s logistics, warranty and insurance claims, this morning.

Administrators said they ‘will continue to trade the businesses in line with Government guidance as to remote working or, where essential services are being carried out, only in circumstances where we can provide for employee and customer safety.’

The businesses had already started remote working before administrators were appointed, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. All stores were already closed.

The administrators said: ‘The logistics and engineering business of CTL will continue to assist in dealing with those customers who have claims for essential home item repairs and will continue deliveries of smaller items to customers’ doorsteps, to ensure where possible, customers’ products remain in working order.’

The announcement came after the the UK’s biggest rent-to-own operator BrightHouse, which controls 240 stores across the nation, confirmed that it too was now in administration

Coronavirus is wreaking carnage on the high street, with shoppers forced to stay away and use the Internet for goods they would have previously bought in bricks and mortar stores. 

Britain’s town centres were suffering even before the crisis, with 143,100 jobs lost in 2019 alone. 

Last week, the Restaurant Group announced it would close down the majority of its Tex-Mex Chiquito restaurants, while clothes retailer H&M threatened to walk away from 300-plus shop leases if sales did not match pre-coronavirus levels.

Today, retail group Monsoon Accessorize warned it could be sold after the impact of coronavirus cast a shadow over its turnaround plans.

The company, which runs the Monsoon and Accessorize chains, said it has hired advisers to assess options including a potential sale, in a bid to protect the company’s long-term future.

The two retailers, which employ around 3,500 staff, have shut all their stores after the Prime Minister told non-essential retailers to close their doors. 

Meanwhile, Mothercare sent home 430 employees in the UK as the troubled company said the coronavirus outbreak is likely to impact its short-term revenue.

Key UK head office staff are still working from home, the company said, but its staff who look after the Boots Mini-Club brand have been furloughed with government support, the company said.

Mothercare said its experience of going into administration in the UK last year ‘is proving invaluable’ as it deals with the impact that coronavirus will have on its franchisees around the world.

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