Fashion chain USC goes into administrationClothes store the latest high street casualty

30 December 2008

Woman with clothes in a shop

Some big brands only sell special clothing lines at outlets

The British high street has been dealt another blow today with fashion retailer USC going into administration, putting 300 jobs at risk.

Bryan Jackson at PKF has been appointed administrator, and confirmed that 15 of the group's 58 shops across the UK are affected.

The administrator said a deal had been negotiated with company Dundonald Holdings Ltd, which is buying up to 43 of the stores and safeguarding the jobs of 1,127 USC staff. The remaining 15 stores will be operated temporarily by the administrator.

USC stores throughout the UK

USC is a clothes retailer specialising in designer branded clothing. It was founded with one shop in Edinburgh in 1989, and now has stores throughout the UK.

The chain, which has its headquarters in Dundonald, Ayrshire, was owned by investment firm West Coast Capital (WCC), founded by tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, one of Britain's richest men.

Dundonald Holdings Ltd, which put together the rescue package for most of the stores, is part of this wider business.

This means the private equity group is effectively buying back part of its own business after putting it into administration.

Find our more about your rights when a retailer goes into administration. 

USC the latest crunch victim

USC follows a slew of high street names which have been hit by the economic downturn.

Woolworths is due to close its last store on January 5 unless a last-minute buyer is found.

Furniture retailer MFI and music and games chain Zavvi have gone into administration.

Fellow strugglers Whittard of Chelsea and the Officers Club called in administrators, but were immediately sold in rescue deals.

Administrators have also been called in at children's wear chain Adams.

© Press Association 2008

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