Suiting up: Moss Bros to restart website and prepares for reopening of stores

Suits seller Moss Bros will reopen its online operations on Wednesday following the Government’s updated advice for some employees to return to work.

The retailer shuttered its 128 stores and suspended web sales following the coronavirus lockdown.

But bosses said they will start planning to reopen stores from next month along with a range of other measures to save cash, including redundancies and negotiating discounts with landlords and suppliers.

In a statement to the stock market, the company said: “Having implemented the necessary operational changes to protect the welfare of its employees, and in light of the Government’s recently updated guidance around returning to work, the board has now decided to reopen the group’s e-commerce operations from May 13 2020, initially with a reduced work force.

Oxford Street Stores Stock
Moss Bros closed all stores across the UK but is planning to reopen online (Yui Mok / PA)

“The board also notes the Government’s recent update regarding the potential phased reopening of shops from June 1 and is developing plans to reopen its stores in an orderly manner in light of this.”

The high street chain added that it has accessed the coronavirus job retention scheme and put in place salary cuts for staff still working, including 60% to 70% reductions in the boardroom.

Moss Bros said it was also “actively engaging with its suppliers regarding discounts and extended payment terms” along with landlord discussions on rent holidays and deferrals.

The decision comes as the company continues to face a battle over who should own it.

Crew Clothing owner Brigadier Acquisition Company said last month it was looking at pulling its £22.6 million offer for the chain, which was initially made before the Covid-19 crisis.

The Takeover Panel is looking into the request, with Brigadier saying it wants to enact a “material adverse change” clause.

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