Did you hear?... Highpoint Trading Company declares bankruptcy

Recovery from Foot and Mouth Disease in Britain didn't come soon enough for the country's Famous Army Stores, whose parent Highpoint Trading Company last week declared bankruptcy and went into "voluntary administration."
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Recovery from Foot and Mouth Disease in Britain didn't come soon enough for the country's Famous Army Stores, whose parent Highpoint Trading Company last week declared bankruptcy and went into "voluntary administration." Famous Army has been operating with a restricted cash flow "for some time," according to insider reports. The mild fall weather further contributed to the downward financial spiral. Famous Army has some 1,300 employees at 198 stores, of which 152 operate under the Famous Army name and 46 as Outdoor Venture outlets. That made the chain the second largest in the U.K. behind the Outdoor Group. According to the Britain's Outdoor i trade newsletter, the store's name came from its beginnings in Liverpool when it began selling army surplus between the wars. In the early '90s, a management buyout was followed with quick expansion -- perhaps too quick, according to some. For the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 1999, pre-tax profits dropped 65 percent to over the previous year. Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers were trying to sell the business. But insiders say that another management buyout seems likely, but this time the new owners would likely sell off unprofitable stores and tighten down the ship to rebuild. SNEWS® View: Other retail insiders tell SNEWS® this may actually be what the industry needs. The market is not only highly competitive, they say, but filled perhaps with too many players.

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