Sheffield store saved after buyout

The Ark store on Devonshire Street in Sheffield
The Ark store on Devonshire Street in Sheffield
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Jobs have been saved in Sheffield after JD Sports confirmed it has bought clothing brand Ark out of administration.

The Ark store, on Devonshire Street in the city centre, is one of 10 to be saved.

The deal to save the retailer, which sells leading young fashion brands, has secured jobs for 160 of the 200 employees.

As part of the deal, which was negotiated by joint administrators David Acland and Lila Thomas, from Begbies Traynor, uneconomic stores in Norwich, Cambridge and Merry Hill shopping centre in the west Midlands, as well as the Hearts and Bows store in Manchester, have closed.

A JD Sports spokesman said: “We are delighted to have added the Ark fascia to our young fashion offer which brings with it some leading brands and a successful own brand offer.

“We look forward to supporting the established management team to develop the business further.”

Tom Edge, director of Rett Retail and Ark Fashion, said: “Becoming part of the JD group is the best deal for all those involved in Rett Retail and we look forward to working with them for an exciting future.”

Mr Acland, a partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “This sale has protected a large number of vital jobs in the retail sector.

“At the same time, it enables JD Sports to continue its ambitious expansion plans, following on, as it does, from other key strategic acquisitions earlier in the year.

“It is no secret that many retail businesses are facing a hugely challenging environment at the moment, and this deal is a welcome piece of good news for the 
sector.”