Snow & Rock Owner Seeks to Shut Stores as Retail Malaise Spreads

(Bloomberg) -- The owner of Snow & Rock, Cycle Surgery, Runners Need and Cotswold Outdoor stores in the U.K. is seeking to close outlets and reduce rents to save the business.

Outdoor & Cycle Concepts has proposed a so-called company voluntary arrangement to its creditors to close loss-making stores and cut rents, according to a statement from the company, which has 115 stores across the U.K. and Ireland. It follows department-store chain Debenhams, which announced plans to close stores earlier Friday.

A long line of U.K. retailers are turning to so-called CVAs to shut shops and reach agreements with creditors via the courts to tackle a crisis in the sector. E-commerce giant Inc. is luring shoppers from bricks-and-mortar stores while the looming threat of Brexit suppresses spending and discount supermarkets erode mainstream grocers’ performance.

Outdoor & Cycle Concepts, which is controlled by French private equity firm PAI Partners, cited declining footfall on shopping streets as a key reason for its actions.

“We have started to engage with key stakeholders, suppliers and property landlords to explore all options,” said Jose Finch, the company’s managing director.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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