The owners of a new bridal shop have been thrown out of their town premises – reportedly for not paying the rent. …
The shop hit the headlines last month when it was targeted by disgruntled customers of Brides of Ashford which went into liquidation in May – leaving 300 outstanding orders. Some of those affected visited Sittingbourne after rumours circulated that Brides of Ashford owner, Sharon Keates, was behind UK Brides.
However, Mrs Keates – who was declared bankrupt in November 2010 – claimed the store had nothing to do with her and was being run by her ex-partner Steve Sanford.Oh dear, so sad. Everyone now much wiser, though?
Now flash forward to this year, and Portsmouth:
Angry brides-to-be fear they have been left in the lurch after a wedding shop suddenly ceased trading.
Couples who had spent thousands to get the big day of their dreams gathered at the Brides of Portsmouth shop in Elm Grove, Southsea, yesterday as news spread that it had run into trouble.Yeah, you guessed it…
Shop worker Peta Bunyan, who has worked for the shop for the past six years, claimed she had not been paid for two months. She added: ‘We’ve got brides booked in for weddings up until 2014.’
Brides of Portsmouth hit the headlines in April, when it appeared on the TV consumer programme Rogue Traders. Shortly afterwards it was revealed former shop owner Sharon Keates, of Church Road, Titchfield, was no longer in control of the shop and it was instead run by Joe Misford, who is believed to be abroad.
Staff claim that despite the change, Sharon Keates has still been involved in the running of the shop.Now, how dim do you have to be to sign up to a bridal shop without first checking who’s running it? And whether they have a history of this sort of thing?
Incredibly enough, the company itself blames…the people who uncovered the sordid history and broadcast it:
A statement from Benedict Mackenzie blamed the Rogue Traders programme for the insolvency.Really? Yes, really:
It said: ‘It is with deep regret that as of today, Brides of Portsmouth Limited has been forced to cease trading.
‘An insolvency practitioner has been asked to assist the shareholders and director in placing the company into creditors voluntary liquidation.’
The statement added: ‘Brides of Portsmouth had no control over the programme and what was broadcast, and attempted to remove the programme and association of the previous owner by advising the production company of the potential consequences for all Brides’ customers if the programme was broadcast.’‘If you tell everyone we’ve been involved with an insolvent businesswoman with a habit of doing a runner owing money, we’ll go out of business!’.
Well, no kidding!