Retail gloom forces Bonmarche to rethink Philip Day’s discounted offer

Chain sells budget fashion for the over 50s

The retailer had warned on sales as early as March as it discounted heavily to clear unsold apparel. Photograph: iStock

The retailer had warned on sales as early as March as it discounted heavily to clear unsold apparel. Photograph: iStock

 

Trading has been so poor in recent months that women’s fashion chain Bonmarche recommended shareholders accept British billionaire businessman Philip Day’s buyout offer on Wednesday, two months after dismissing it as “inadequate”.

Official data last week showed cold weather in May prompted the biggest drop in retail sales this year, with the wet weather in June continuing to hurt many retailers.

Bonmarche, selling budget fashion for the over 50s from over 300 stores, had previously rejected the offer made in April through Mr Day’s Spectre Holdings, which was pitched at a discount of nearly 29 per cent compared with Bonmarche’s closing price of 16 pence on Tuesday.

Fair price

But the retailer said on Wednesday the price is now “fair and reasonable” after trading in the first quarter was ‘poor’.

The retailer had warned on sales as early as March as it discounted heavily to clear unsold apparel.

Shares in the company fell as much as 27 per cent on Wednesday, knocking its value down to £5.5 million (€6.1 million) at Wednesday’s low of 11 pence from a peak of £1.59 billion in 2015. – Reuters