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Published
Mar 29, 2018
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Jigsaw strikes £20m deal with founder retail tycoon pumping in new cash

Published
Mar 29, 2018

Following a month of news about UK retail failures, finally some good news. It seems that Jigsaw has dealt with its cash flow problems by signing a £20 million deal involving one of the founders of the Carphone Warehouse business.


Jigsaw



David Ross is a major investor in the rescue deal following months of talks with the agreement likely to complete on Thursday (March 29). Not that the biggest chunk of the £20 million will come from him. Sky News reported that Secure Trust Bank is committing £10 million to replace Barclays as Jigsaw's main lender, while Ross is putting in £5 million through one of his companies and Jigsaw founder/majority shareholder John Robinson is matching that.

There have been rumours around middle-market-focused Jigsaw’s situation since last autumn when it was first suggested the company could face a cash crunch before Christmas. 

But while it surprised the sector with better-than-expected Christmas trading, it’s operating in what Next’s CEO described last week as the most challenging retail environment for a quarter of a century.

A host of UK retailers have gone under this year including Toy R Us and Maplin while Conviviality is teetering on the brink. And the fashion sector hasn’t been immune as New Look’s and Select’s CVAs, Moss Bros’s profit warning and Mothercare’s struggles prove. News that big names like Debenhams, House of Fraser and Arcadia are taking a raft of actions from simply closing stores, to seeking new funding in HoF’s case, and pressing for rent reductions is further evidence of the tough times.

Jigsaw has around 80 standalone stores and saw sales rising 7% in the five weeks to December 31, despite it steering clear of Black Friday. And sources have said it continues to trade well, although higher import costs and foreign currency exposure have been a problem.

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