Sandwich retailer Benjys has gone into administration for the second time in a year.
Forty-six branches of the chain were closed this week after private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw, which bought Benjys seven months ago, appointed KPMG to act as administrator. Hamilton Bradshaw had struggled with rent payments owing to tough trading conditions.
Hamilton Bradshaw turned to KPMG after efforts to find a buyer for the business failed at the weekend.
Administrator Myles Halley said: ‘The business has encountered difficulties as it has been making trading losses in the highly competitive food retail sector.’
It is understood there may be around 400 redundancies.
Hamilton Bradshaw was paying rent to the group’s previous administrator Deloitte on 38 stores under a temporary agreement struck last year when the private equity firm stepped in to rescue the business.
Assets at 17 stores were seized last week by bailiffs acting for Deloitte. Benjy’s also has a manufacturing site in east London and seven distribution centres in Birmingham, London, Milton Keynes, Sevenoaks and Warrington, which have all been closed.
The retailer had turnover of £33m last year and once had ambitions to expand to 250 outlets. But its 65 outlets were hit by increased competition and mounting debts.