German bike clothing retailer folds

Updated: 
MotorbikesThe double-dip recession has claimed another high street victim after it emerged the UK arm of German motorbike clothing retailer Hein Gericke had fallen into administration.

The company, which has 49 UK shops, a head office in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and is thought to employ around 200 staff, has seen sales slide in recent years as the economic climate worsened, administrators Moorfields Corporate Recovery said.

Moorfields said it is looking to sell the business, which is separate from its German parent company, and its stores are open as usual until a buyer is found.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator at Moorfields, said: "Whilst the ongoing economic pressures have affected sales in recent years I am confident the business model has a lot of potential with a dedicated customer base and staff who are obviously passionate about working for the company."

Interested parties have until August 6 to contact the administrator.

Hein Gericke was a German biker who opened a motorcycle shop in Germany in the 1970s, which within a few years had developed into the country's largest motorcycle dealership in Germany.

The company had an international presence by 1987, at which point Hein Gericke sold the business.

A short statement on the company's UK website said the group was "saddened" by the administration but added the future of the UK operation is being "determined and hopefully secured".

The Hein Gericke brand is sold through a retail shop presence across Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Luxembourg.

The administration follows the collapse of a variety of high street names, including discount retailer Ethel Austin, greetings card retailer Clinton Cards and independent camera retailer Cecil Jacobs.

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