Future uncertain for Alworths

Reports suggest that founder has resigned as director, as restructuring looms.
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Retail Week has reported that Alworths is being restructured less than 18 months after its first store opened.

The retailer was founded in 2009 by former Woolworths head of store and concession development, Andy Latham, who has reportedly stepped down as director of the company.

The story suggests that the retailer is now being restructured and a change of ownership is underway.

Industry sources have told Retail Week that they fear a pre-pack administration is on the cards.

Documents filed at Companies House last week showed that Latham has resigned as a director and Alworths’ registered office address has been changed to 'care of' a solicitors in Redhill, where the retailer is headquartered.

At the same time a new company, Retail Acquisitions, was set up and is reportedly expected to take control of Alworths. Latham is one of its directors as is Chris Althorp-Gormlay, a boss of private equity business SKG Capital.

No comment was available from Latham or Althorp-Gormlay. Alworths said in an email: “We can confirm Andy is still managing the business. We are currently restructuring elements of the company.”

Latham originally envisaged 50 shops, later seeing potential for 200, concentrating on small market towns where Woolworths previously thrived. By sticking to these areas, he was confident Alworths would not fail in the same way as Woolworths did.

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