Lisburn was dealt another blow this week when century-old Hanna & Browne was put into administration.
The shutters were pulled down on the firm’s branches in Lisburn’s Bow Street Mall, Belfast, Bangor, Newtownards and Limavady and staff were sent home.
Many local customers could be affected by the news, including couples with wedding lists held in the stores.
A question mark hangs over the future of 100 jobs. A decision will be made within days on whether to re-open the stores in an attempt to salvage the business.
The administrator, James Neill, said he had been appointed following a “general downturn in trading conditions, coupled with a significant change in consumer spending patterns” which, he said, had led to cash flow problems.
“The administrator and his staff are currently undertaking an immediate assessment of the trading and financial position of the partnership with a view to maintaining the going concern of the business,” he said.
“Once this is complete we will have a clearer picture of future options.”
The administrator said the immediate priority was to communicate with key stakeholders of the business including employees, customers, suppliers and landlords.
Hanna & Browne was established over 110 years ago as cabinet makers in Belfast before becoming part of the Lisnasure Interiors group of companies, selling gift, table and cookware, home decor, collectables and electrical appliances. The chain, run by the Lyttle family, sold brands including Swarovski, Smeg, Le Creuset, Belleek and Stieff and had recently been holding clearance and closing down sales in a number of branches, including one in Belfast city centre.
James Neill of Horwood Neill Holmes was appointed as administrator to TB Lyttle & Sons – trading as Lisnasure Interiors and Hanna & Browne – on Tuesday.