Staff at two Wearside shoe stores face an uncertain future after national firm Brantano (UK) Ltd called in administrators.
The Leicestershire-based value shoe retailer operates 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK, including at Washington Galleries and Durham's Arnison Centre, and employs around 2,000 staff.
Brantano (UK) Limited was acquired by Alteri Investors¹ in October 2015 but has experienced difficult trading conditions.
Tony Barrell, lead administrator at PwC, said: "The continuing challenging conditions for 'bricks and mortar' retail stores are well documented. Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.
"The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration."
Robert Moran, deals partner at PwC, is leading the sales process and said: “Brantano is an established value shoe retailer in the UK and attracted considerable interest during the 2015 sales process.
"We are now assessing interest in the UK Brantano business as a whole or its parts and we welcome approaches from interested parties.”