Iain Humphrey (pictured) has placed his Go Mobile retail business into administration at the cost of 23 shops. The remaining 44 shops have been moved into his Shebang Distribution business. Humphrey said the Go Mobile brand will be retained, and the estate will be profitable going forward. Go Mobile managing director Nil Naik has left the business.
Administrator Business Recovery and Insolvency (BRI) is to handle payment to affected staff and creditors, of which Shebang Distribution, owed around £1 million, or 65 per cent of total monies due.
Humphrey said his hand was forced as shops sold to retailer JAG in 2008 were returned, and under-performed. Twenty stores were shut down in 2008, and re-opened as Humphrey failed to renegotiate the leases. But early trading in 2010 saw the chain fail profitability, and clawback from Orange of £136,000 in January alone.
Humphrey said: “We tried to trade our way out of trouble as we were tied into the leases on the shops returned by JAG. We did alright in 2009, but were ultimately unable to make much impact on the debt. Unfortunately early 2010 was a disaster. It is unfortunate, but it is also unfortunate those shops performed as they did. I am interested in profitability only, and not in the scale of the chain. The remaining shops will move on now.”