Cafe safe... but fears for Claire’s
THE future of a Southport town centre cafe looks to have been saved despite the company’s financial chief being arrested.
But doubts are now being raised over another national chain which has a presence in the town.
Patisserie Valerie, which has a branch on Lord Street, was left on the brink of collapse last week when a major black hole was found in the company’s finances. The firm’s financial chief, Chris Marsh, was suspended from his role and later arrested and released on bail.
The cake specialists had been handed a tax bill of £1.1m and served with a winding up petition for its principal trading unit Stonebeach, only to be rescued at the 11th hour when the chairman offered a rescue package backed by £20m of loans from himself. The company also successfully raised more than £15m through the issue of new shares.
Southport’s Patisserie Valerie opened in August 2017, creating 20 jobs, and now appears to have had its short-term future secured after Mr Johnson said no stores would be taken back by landlords.
But uncertainty hangs over another town centre business though after reports that accessories chain Claire’s could close some of its 350 UK branches.
The firm is believed to be talking to restructuring firms about a number of options – one of which could involve a number of branches being shut.
While Claire’s runs a shop on Chapel Street, no indication has been given over which stores may be selected for closure.
Patisserie Valerie on Lord Street in Southport
Claire’s on Chapel Street