Alworths Ltd placed into administration

HOPES of reviving Newhaven’s struggling High Street suffered a fresh blow as Alworths entered administration.

The company has 17 stores across the UK including one occupying the former Woolworths site in the town.

Neil Bennett and Michael Healy of Leonard Curtis were appointed administrators on March 28, 2011, who specialise in value consumer products.

The stores will continue trade under control of the administrators whilst a buyer is sought.

The business had recently been acquired by investors from its previous owners.

For the year to December 2010 Alworths achieved a turnover of £7.5m.

Neil Bennett said: “This is a business that operates in a very competitive market that has been badly affected by the recent downturn in consumer confidence experienced on the UK High Street. “We are currently continuing to trade whilst we look for a suitable buyer in an effort to secure the business and safeguard job security for its current employees.

Alworths opened in Newhaven to a great fanfare last year with the potential for drawing more shoppers into the town centre.

The demise of Woolworths left a gaping hole in the High Street and a noticeable affect on the number of customers making a trip to town centre shops.

Alworths, which has its head office in Redhill, was formed by former Woolworths staff.

It stocks similar products to Woolworths, including homewares, hardware, seasonal ranges and the popular pick’n’mix.

Alworths set up in small market towns like Newhaven where it felt there was still demand for a Woolworths style shop.