Monsoon 'planning store closures': Grimsby on the market and Hull at risk

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 Apr 2019

HIGH Street retailer Monsoon Accessorize has called in advisers to speed up its closure process, just weeks after we revealed it was openly marketing its Freshney Place store.

The company has brought in Deloitte to prepare plans for a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), the same process through which retailers New Look and Mothercare closed stores last year.

Any proposals are also likely to include rent reductions on the joint estate of almost 270 sites, including Princess Quay in Hull.

It operates a double unit in the Grimsby shopping centre, with particulars underlining how it needs to pull in £668 a day just to meet rent and rate commitments, before centre service charges, stock and staff costs are factored in.

A spokesman for Monsoon Accessorize said: “The UK retail trading environment is tough and we are continuing to look at options to reduce our overall costs as we restructure the business in the UK and internationally.

“We have made no secret of the fact that we have steadily reduced our store portfolio in recent years and shall continue to do so as leases expire.

“We are looking at options to accelerate these store closures.”

Read more: A new rooftop cafe could open in Hull city centre

It has closed almost 40 stores in the last two years, as well as relocating and downsizing others. An Accessorize was closed in Beverley. 

The most recent available accounts for Drillgreat, the holding company for Monsoon Accessorize, show that the company made a loss before tax of £10.5 million in the year to August 26 2017.

Princes Quay boss speaks out on Monsoon store closure fears

Princes Quay’s centre manager has spoken out amid plans for Monsoon to close some of its UK stores, putting Hull's at risk.

John Magee, pictured above, responding to news that the chain is planning to close branches across the country, said he hoped the popular store would remain in Princes Quay“for years to come”.

It comes as reports claim Monsoon Accessorize will be revealing stores earmarked for closure in the coming weeks.

Read more: Inside the new clothes shop open in Hull city centre

Mr Magee said: “As with all of our retail partners, we have been and continue to be in, frequent and regular contact with Monsoon Accessorize. 

“We know that many of our customers enjoy shopping at this popular store and hope that this continues to be the case for years to come.

“We are not aware of any plans for the store at Princes Quay to close.”

Monsoon Accessorize is said to be considering store closures (Jon Corken/Grimsby Live)

Bigger stores with both Monsoon and Accessorize branding on the shop front are seen as the main targets for closures.

Accessorize in Beverley has already closed and is set to be replaced in the market town by Space NK.

Details of potential store closures by Monsoon have not been revealed by the high street chain. However, Monsoon currently has a large shop in Princes Quay.

It comes as the country’s high street battle continues, as big names continue to close stores and leave shopping streets dotted with ‘to let’ signs.

Freshney Place declined to comment at the time of the original Monsoon Accessorize sale report.

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