Bradford MP criticises business rates system after historic menswear company Greenwoods goes into administration

Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East. Tom Maddick /
Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East. Tom Maddick /

A Bradford MP has said there is a need for “deep, fundamental reform” of the business rates system after a major male clothing company based in the city has gone into administration.

Greenwoods Menswear Limited appointed Deloitte LLP as administrators today amid “a challenging time for the UK retail sector”, but no redundancies have been announced at this stage.

Imran Hussain, Bradford East MP for Labour, suggested that “punitive business rates” have played a part.

He said: “I am deeply saddened to hear that Greenwoods, which has been a distinct and historic presence in town centres across the country, as well as an important part of Bradford, has entered administration, and I hope that a new buyer for the business can be found as quickly as possible without the need for redundancies across the stores and head office.

“Unfortunately it shows the challenges presented to our high streets in the face of online retailers, particularly when high street stores have to pay punitive business rates whilst large, out-of-town warehouses of online retailers pay less, despite higher profits, which demonstrates the need for deep, fundamental reform of the business rates system to adapt to the 21st century and give high streets a chance.”

Greenwoods has 318 employees, 292 of which work in stores, 15 at the head office and 11 in the warehouse.

The company operates from 63 stores and two concessions across the country. The administrators said it has generated a turnover of £20m.

Adrian Berry, who has been appointed a joint administrator with Clare Boardman of Deloitte LLP, said: “We are currently assessing the options available to the Company, including a potential sale of the business, and are continuing to trade it in the meantime.

“No redundancies are being announced at this stage and we are grateful to the employees for their support at this difficult time. This is a challenging time for the UK retail sector, which has affected the Company.”