Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland fashion chain Exhibit enters administration with loss of around 100 jobs

By John Mulgrew

Clothing chain Exhibit has entered administration with the loss of around 100 jobs.

The Northern Ireland womenswear chain has 14 stores and concessions across Northern Ireland. It had been trading under the name Cucco Retail Limited.

And staff have told the Belfast Telegraph they are angry how they were treated. One employee said her store had not received fresh orders for several weeks, and had inquired as to whether the company was facing difficulties.

That includes one branches at CastleCourt and Park Centre in Belfast.

It's understood staff were told on Monday that the company had entered administration, and jobs were being lost.

For years, Exhibit managed to stave off competition from cheap and cheerful stores like Primark, by offering affordable prices for better quality clothes.

It was one of the most successful brand-names in Northern Irish fashion, counting Davina McCall, Christine Bleakley and Nadine Coyle among its customers, after setting up in 1983.

James Neill and Rachel Foster of HNH Group have been appointed as joint administrators.

In a statement the company said: "A general downturn in trading conditions, coupled with a significant change in consumer spending patterns over recent times, has significantly impacted on the company’s trade and has resulted in the appointment of joint administrators.

"The appointment highlights the continued difficulties experienced by independent retailers on the high street.

"The joint administrators and their staff are currently undertaking an immediate assessment of the financial position of the company and its assets. Once this is complete the joint administrators will have a clearer picture of the future options available to them.

"Our immediate priority is to communicate with the key stakeholders of the business, including employees, creditors and landlords."

Belfast Telegraph Digital