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Coronavirus: Animal clothing to close threatening up to 500 jobs

Animal store

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There are more than 20 Animal stores across the UK

The surfing-inspired fashion brand Animal is to close, putting up to 500 jobs at risk, its owner has announced.

Owner H Young Holdings said the Poole-based business would shut by January.

It said the move was due to an “extremely challenging” retail market “further worsened” by the coronavirus pandemic.

Up to 500 people work for the brand across 21 stores, and more than 300 other UK shops stock its products.

H Young, which is based in Newbury, Berkshire, told staff the brand, which was founded in 1987, was losing money and attempts to save or sell it had been unsuccessful.

In a statement it said: “As a result of the extremely challenging retail market which has now further worsened due to Covid-19, H Young announces it will be closing its Animal business by the end of January 2021.

“This will obviously be a very sad announcement for all Animal’s hardworking employees and its loyal customers.”

‘Changed enormously’

It added it would continue trading until the closure but refused to give any further details.

Ian Elliot, who co-founded the brand with Nigel Broughton but no longer works for the business, said: “It’s changed a lot since we were custodians. The retail landscape has changed enormously.

“I think we used to have 1,200 stockists up and down the country.

“Many were bought by multiples who we resolutely refused to sell to.”

He added he hoped H Young would “do the right thing” by its staff and make sure they were “well looked after”.

According to Companies House, H Young Holdings’ sales in 2018 totalled almost £220m with a profit of £13.5m.

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