EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

QS and Bewise

QS and Bewise

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Retail
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
47.71 - Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores
Number Employed: 4500
Group: Hamsard 2353

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 10-02-2006
Planned Job Reductions min: 4500
Planned Job Reductions max: 4500
Type of Restructuring: Bankruptcy/Closure

Additional Information

Administrators moved in at the cut-price clothing chains, QS and Bewise, which together have 343 shops and employ 4,500 people in the UK. They are the latest in a lengthening line of retailers to collapse and there are fears of more to come as consumer spending remains subdued and high street trading conditions become increasingly cut-throat. Mr Shierson estimated that the business had suffered operating losses of as much as £15 million to £20 million over the past few years. The two chains suffered a poor Christmas and depressed trading in January 2006, which proved the final straw. Grant Thornton was called in by directors of Hamsard 2353, which is the parent company of QS and Bewise. Administrator Malcolm Shierson said that most of the employees will keep their jobs: 'We believe the majority of positions will survive.'