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Tuesday 22 October 2019

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Office reportedly ‘mulling options for CVA’

Written by Hannah McGrath
02/07/2019

Office, the footwear retailer, is reportedly weighing up launching a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in order to shore up its financial future.

According to Sky News, Alvarez & Marsal, an advisory firm, has been drafted in to set out a CVA plan that could put the future of around 100 of its UK stores in doubt.

Advisers from Deloitte are also helping the firm assess its options, according to the report. A CVA would enable the firm to renegotiate rents with landlords and close unprofitable stores as part of a restructuring process.

While the company has yet to take a final decision on which course of action to take, it would make the footwear chain the latest High Street retailer to resort to the controversial insolvency mechanism and would come just weeks after Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire -which includes Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins- and Monsoon Accessorize announced their own plans for CVAs.

It comes after Debenhams, House of Fraser, Mothercare and New Look joined the list of companies opting for CVAs as retailers battle an increasingly challenging outlook driven by rising business and premises rates and falling footfall as consumers shift their spending habits online.

Office is owned by Truworths, a South Africa -based holding company, which bought the retailer for around £250m four years ago.

Deloitte declined to comment on the reports and Office was unavailable for comment.


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