Pavers finds its feet with Jones Bootmaker rescue

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor
Jones Bootmaker, the struggling footwear chain, is changing hands? for the second time in less than a year amid challenging high street trading conditions.
Sky News has learnt that Endless, the investment firm which bought Jones Bootmaker last March, has struck a deal to sell the company to Pavers, a privately owned shoe retailer.
An announcement is expected to be made this week.The deal will preserve the vast majority of the 475 jobs at Jones Bootmaker, with 42 of its 47 stores transferring to York-based Pavers' ownership.Sources said on Monday said the deal was being structured ‎so that Pavers would acquire the Jones Bootmaker assets out of an administration handled by EY.Family-owned Pavers, which trades from about 130 shops and employs 1,300 people, is not buying the Jones ‎head office as part of the transaction, according to insiders.Jones Bootmaker fell into administration in the spring of last year, with ‎hundreds of jobs lost as part of the transition to new owners.
The chain was previously owned by Alteri Investors, a specialist investor in troubled retailers.Endless‎ is understood to have concluded that a weak trading environment on the high street meant that the chain's future was more likely to be secured as part of a larger group.Pavers, which has its own TV shopping channel, was founded in 1971 by Catherine Paver using a €200 bank loan.She worked full-time for the company until the age of 88, with Pavers now run by Stuart, one of her three sons.
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Neither Endless‎ nor Pavers could be reached for comment.The transaction makes Jones Bootmaker the latest clothing retailer to be sold amid growing pressure on chains' costs and sales performance.
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