22 December 2014

Liquidator to be appointed at Blacktie Formalwear

15:39, Post Reporter

Former Dragon’s Den star Niall O’Farrell has said a liquidator is to be appointed to Blacktie Formalwear.

O’Farrell told staff at his eleven shops that a liquidator will be appointed on Friday, February 1st. The shops will continue to trade as normal for the coming weeks and after a liquidator is appointed it is hoped that a buyer for the group will be secured, he said.

O’Farrell, who started the chain in 1985 when he was 22, said that the decision was taken in consultation with the company’s bankers due to a combination of market and economic factors including a decline in the formal wear rental market, increased lower cost retailers from the high street, higher utility and branch operating costs and unaffordable high levels of rates.

Last October O'Farrell closed the Cork branch of the chain as part of a restructuring but said that the wider Blacktie chain had returned to profit. Three years previously Blacktie had closed two branches in Dublin and one in Drogheda, Co Louth.

“I deeply regret having to make this decision,” said O’Farrell in a statement today. “I spent most of my career establishing and developing Blacktie, and have done all I could to bolster its prospects. I have not drawn a salary from the business for the past four years, and even invested substantial personal resources.”

He paid tribute to Blacktie’s employees for their hard work, dedication and loyalty, and said he would be available to them to personally answer any queries they have.

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