Footwear retailer Barratts has gone into administration for the third time in five years, it’s been announced today.
The shoe firm appointed Duff & Phelps as its administrators on Friday.
Duff & Phelps partner Philip Duffy says: “Difficult trading conditions in the sector led the directors to explore potential refinancing options and additional equity for the business.
“The company had recently received an offer from an investor to inject £5 million into the company but that offer was withdrawn on the evening of 7 November.
“In view of the financial position of the company and withdrawal of that equity offer, the directors were left with no choice but to appoint administrators.”
The firm also went into administration in January 2009 and December 2011.
Here, we explain your rights if you’re affected. We’ve put all these questions to Duff & Phelps. Where it was unable to answer them, we will update this news story as soon as we hear anything.
Q. Is the firm still trading?
Barratts’ 60 UK stores, as well as its concessions and its website, are still trading as normal while a buyer is found.
However, Duff & Phelps says “at this stage redundancies and/or store closures cannot be ruled out”.
The company employs 1,035 people, of which 521 work part-time.
If you are made redundant, you have statutory rights to redundancy pay and cash for unused holidays – this is met by the Government if Barratts itself can’t pay. Read our Redundancy Guide for your rights.
Q. Will gift cards be honoured?
It’s unclear whether Barratts sold its own gift cards, and if it did, whether or not it’s still accepting them. However, if you’ve got one, it’s best to try and use it as soon as possible.
As the firm is still trading, it’s likely gift cards will be accepted, plus, last time Barratts went into administration in 2011, it continued to accept them.
Barratts did, however, accept Love2Shop vouchers, which can be used at other high street chains including Argos, Boots and Debenhams.
If you’ve got a Love2Shop voucher it’s best to spend it elsewhere. If you buy something from Barratts but end up not wanting it or it turns out to be faulty, you may find it difficult to exchange it or get a refund.
Q. I’ve got store credit. Is this still valid?
Again, it’s unclear if Barratts issued store credit, and if it did, whether or not it’s still being accepted. But as the firm is still trading, it’s likely it’ll still accept this as a form of payment. So if you’ve got store credit, it’s best to try to redeem it as soon as possible.
Q. Can I take items back?
As the store is trading as usual it’s likely you can still take items back under the firm’s returns policy. So if you’ve got something that needs refunding or exchanging, try to return it as soon as possible.
Q. Will orders be delivered?
Again, we’re awaiting confirmation from Duff & Phelps as to whether any ordered items will be delivered.
But as the store is still trading, it’s likely you’ll get your order. The last time Barratts went into administration, existing orders were fulfilled.
Q. Can I get a refund for faulty or undelivered items?
If something goes wrong, or if Barratts itself won’t refund faulty or undelivered items, if you bought something over £100 on a credit card you should be covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, giving you a legal right to claim from your card company.
For sums under £100 on a credit card, or any amount on a debit card, you may be able to claim via the Visa, Mastercard or American Express chargeback schemes.
This is an often little-known clause that allows you to claim within 120 days from your card provider. While this is in your contract with your card provider, it’s not a legal right.