BDO administrators called to Mary Portas lingerie factory

by Rachael Singh

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20 Jan 2014

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BDO ADMINISTRATORS have been called to the lingerie manufacturer behind Mary Portas' Kinky Knickers range and have made all staff redundant.

Kerry Bailey and Patrick Lannagan from BDO were appointed joint administrators to Manchester-based Headon & Quarmby, a 79-year-old family-run manufacturer of lingerie. The business produces underwear to a number of street retailers and brands, including exclusive manufacturing for Mary Portas' underwear range.

However the administrators have confirmed that all 33 staff have been made redundant.

The factory was part of a high-profile attempt to focus on the UK manufacturing industry in a Mary Portas TV show, "Mary's Bottom Line".

During the show eight apprentices were taken on at the manufacture which doubled its workforce in a bid to keep up with demand. It recently revealed plans to launch a sleepwear and lingerie range Ella&M and planned to open up an academy in which it would train staff to sew.

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."

Portas, who doesn't have any financial involvement in the business, is reported to have said she was "really upset" at the news.

She added: "We are ringing around seeing how we can support them... I think there's a future for the business and so do they," The Guardian reports.  

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