iCandy’s Bury St Edmunds store is for sale after the company went into administration earlier today.
Following the appointment of Glyn Mummery and Jeremy French, partners of FRP Advisory, as joint administrators, four of iCandy’s 14 stores have been closed, resulting in 22 redundances.
The company’s 10 remaining stores across Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Essex – including iCandy on Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds – are now being marketed for sale.
The administrators say they are already engaging with a number of parties interested in some or all of the business and will continue to trade iCandy while evaluating approaches and constantly reviewing the company’s financial position in the interests of all stakeholders.
Mr Mummery said: “iCandy has been a bold move for its founders who made a real success of braving regional high street from its inception at the end of 2012 – just when many retailers had given up the ghost in the wake of the financial crisis – right up until late last year. After the demise of Clintons, his family gift card firm, Clinton Lewin took his experience and personal savings to help carve out a niche with iCandy’s innovative range of gifts across shops in the south-east.
“Many of the iCandy stores continue to trade well from desirable locations in the more thriving market towns of Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk and they continue to capture the purses of shoppers looking to spend within the wider gifts market.
“After a period of rapid expansion at iCandy, several of the stores have more recently, however, been hit by a double whammy of a sudden deterioration in consumer spending on the high street by those who have felt the squeeze on disposable income from the rising costs of fuel and food since the pound’s fall in value, and a sharp rise in local business rates that often hits small shops hardest.
“Owing to the financial pressures on the company under its current structure we have had to close four stores and regrettably make 22 staff redundant immediately following our appointment, in order to maintain on going trading for the 10 remaining stores supporting a further 79 staff.
“We have already engaged with interested parties and will continue to market the business and assets for sale while we maintain trading at the remaining 10 stores. Our immediate priority is to assist those staff who have lost their jobs with their applications to the Redundancy Payments Service.”
The stores that remain open are Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping, Witham and Southend in Essex; Hatfield Galleria, Hemel Hempstead and Ware in Hertfordshire and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Those that have closed are in Ilford and Romford in Essex and Bishops Stortford and St Albans in Hertfordshire.