2,000 jobs under threat at fashion chain

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About 2,000 jobs are under threat as another high street retailer faces tough trading conditions.

The company that owns Select, a fashion chain aimed at young women, is seeking a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that would allow it to slash rents.

The chain has 183 stores in England and Wales also sells 4,000 items online.

Genus UK, Select's owner, has no plans to close stores, but the proposal includes an option for landlords to "take back loss-making sites".

Earlier this month another fashion chain, New Look, New Look, announced plans to close 60 stores as part of a rescue deal to keep it afloat.

Rents at the remaining 400 New Look stores will be cut and almost 1,000 staff face redundancy.

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Andrew Andronikou of business advisory firm Quantuma, which is aiding Genus with the CVA, said the chain had been hit by the "depressed retail market and escalating rent and rate charges".

"The loss of anchor tenants on high streets and in smaller shopping centres has had a downward spiralling effect on stores such as Select, culminating in a reduction of footfall and therefore custom," he said.

"The position for this business, and many businesses of the same model is no longer tenable and has escalated to the present situation where a CVA is considered to be the only option, other than closing it in its entirety."

Cutting rents is the main aim of the CVA and it was not clear how many stores the company aimed to close.

Genus UK made a loss of £1.5m on sales of £81m for the year to June 2016.

Creditors will vote on the CVA proposal on 13 April.

Mr Andronikou said Quantuma was "confident" that creditors would back the proposals to prevent "another brand disappearing from our high streets".

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