An independent women’s fashion chain inspired by Scottish design will keep trading over the festive break despite falling into administration.
Ness, which opened a shop in Aberdeen’s Bon Accord and St Nicholas Centre last year, had faced “working capital difficulties” despite enjoying strong sales growth, administrators said.
It is understood the Edinburgh-headquartered company’s 105 staff are being retained.
Restructuring partner James Stephen at BDO said he was looking to find a buyer for the 15-strong UK chain and that the firm has “already received expressions of interest”.
The company was launched in 1997 by Adrienne MacAulay and her husband Gordon, a former Aberdonian. In 2015, Ms MacAulay was aiming to expand the brand after being backed with a £2.5million growth capital boost from British venture capital firm, YFM Equity Partners.
Mr Stephen said: “Notwithstanding the improving sales trend, with like-for-like sales up 12% over the last 12 months, the company experienced working capital difficulties.
“Nevertheless, Ness is a unique brand and remains a highly-popular shopping destination for its loyal customer base in towns across Scotland and England and we are confident of securing a sale of the company as a going concern.”
He added: “We have already received expressions of interest and we encourage other interested parties to come forward.
“The company will continue to trade whilst a sale is explored and all stores will remain open.
“Shoppers are still able to visit their local store for last-minute Christmas shopping – and to take advantage of planned post-Christmas sales beginning on Boxing Day.”