Patisserie Holding’s administrator has confirmed the closure of 71 stores with 920 people made redundant. The café chain, which opened in Soho in 1926 and had eight stores before entrepreneur Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners bought a majority stake in 2006. By 2014, Patisserie Valerie was floated on the AIM stock market for smaller firms, with 191 stores open as of 2019.
The crisis began in October 2018 when Patisserie Valerie revealed “significant, and potentially fraudulent accounting regularities”. Three months later, the company released a statement confirming it could not afford to pay its debts.
KPMG has already stated that “significant” redundancies are to come, while Johnson, the chain’s chairman and chief stakeholder, has held talks with banks for a cash lifeline to pay staff.
The closures comprise loss-making outlets including 27 Patisserie Valerie stores, 19 Druckers outlets and 25 Patisserie Valerie concessions in hih street chains including Debenhams, Next and motorway services as well as the company’s bakery in Spitalfields.
Administrator KPMG has said its team will provide “all necessary support and assistance” to those employees who have lost their jobs.
Another 122 outlets will continue to trade while administrators seek a buyer for the business.
David Costley-Wood, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Since our appointment less than 24 hours ago, we have been pleased with the level of interest we have received in the business, and so remain hopeful of achieving a positive outcome.
“In the meantime, we can reassure customers that across the remaining 122 stores, it is all but business as usual.”
The closures include the original Patisserie Valerie store in Old Compton Street in London’s Soho.