Leslie Cass falls into administration

Sheffield watch retailer Leslie Cass has gone into administration with six-figure debts.

The store, which is now closed, sold watches from brands including Citizen, DKNY and Emporio Armani.

Leslie Cass was a member of buying group the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) and CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton and chairman Stephen Hughes have stepped in to help recompense some of the losses faced by CMJ suppliers that worked with Leslie Cass.

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Hamilton and Hughes have been conducting negotiations with the Leslie Cass liquidator for two weeks following its "out of the blue" closure. It has also been working with a new independent retailer hoping to set up shop in the former Leslie Cass premises.

Hamilton said: "From the minute that we heard about it, we have been working closely with all parties concerned to ensure that the six-figure debts owed by Leslie Cass to our approved suppliers will be compensated.

“The CMJ can be consulted by our members at any time if they are worried about their business. Sadly, in this case, the liquidation came out of the blue and it was too late to help this particular member.”

This is first time that a CMJ member has gone into administration since Hamilton took over as chief executive.

Hamilton added: "Unlike various retailers that have recently gone into administration outside of CMJ, this is the first time that suppliers will be compensated for their losses and proves that by working with the resources available through the CMJ we can help our independent members and suppliers survive in uncertain economic times”

The CMJ will publish its end-of-year results at its AGM in August. Hamilton said that despite the buying group absorbing the losses for its suppliers who worked with Leslie Cass "the CMJ increase in turnover and profitability looks very positive".

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