Sheffield jewellery retailer shuts shop with six-figure debts.
Sheffield jewellery retailer Leslie Cass has gone into administration with six-figure debts.
The Company of Master Jewellers’ (CMJ) retail member is the third company in recent weeks to announce its administration, following jewellery brand Ortak and west country retail chain Clive Ranger.
The store, which is now closed, sold jewellery by brands including Pandora, CW Sellors, Ti Sento and Molly Brown.
The CMJ’s chief executive Willie Hamilton and chairman Stephen Hughes have now stepped in to help recompense some of the losses faced by CMJ suppliers that worked with Leslie Cass.
The two have been conducting negotiations with the Leslie Cass liquidator for two weeks following its "out of the blue" closure.
Hamilton said: "From the minute that we heard about it, we have been working closely with all parties concerned to ensure that the six figure debts owed by Leslie Cass to our approved suppliers will be compensated.
“The CMJ can be consulted by our members at any time if they are worried about their business. Sadly, in this case, the liquidation came out of the blue and it was too late to help this particular member.”
He added that the recent cases of Ortak and Clive Ranger along with Leslie Cass illustrate that independent retailers need to be on top of their game in an increasingly challenging trading environment.
This is first time that a CMJ member has gone into administration since Hamilton took over as CMJ chief executive.
He stated: "Our financial strength and our commitment to supporting our approved suppliers is now proving to be a major support to the entire jewellery industry. Unlike various retailers that have recently gone into administration outside of CMJ, this is the first time that suppliers will be compensated for their losses and proves that by working with the resources available through the CMJ we can help our independent members and suppliers survive in uncertain economic times”
The CMJ has also been working with a new independent retailer hoping to set up shop in the former Leslie Cass premises.
The CMJ will publish its end-of-year results at its AGM in August. Hamilton said that despite the buying group absorbing the losses for its suppliers who worked with Leslie Cass "the CMJ increase in turnover and profitability looks very positive".