Cotton Traders acquires Prolog from administration

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Wednesday 01 May 2019

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Catalogue and online clothing retailer Cotton Traders has bought Promotional Logistics out of administration.

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Prolog was put into administration in November 2018

The business, which trades as Prolog, was put into administration in November as a result of mounting operating losses and the loss of a major customer. It had six sites employing a total of 618 people, five in Sherwood Park, Nottinghamshire and one in Sudbury, Essex.

Three of its sites, two in Sherwood Park and the Sudbury operation, were sold back to former Prolog managing director Neil Daniells and operations director Nick Hoare in January. These sites employed around 330 jobs, which were preserved.

Daniells and Hoare bought the business under the company name Prolog Fulfilment Ltd with the intention of addressing the e-fulfilment and returns market sectors.

However, administrators Rebecca Dacre and Simon Chandler of Mazars confirmed today (1 May) that Altrincham-headquartered Cotton Traders, which was a Prolog customer, has now “purchased the entirety of the [remaining Sherwood] site’s contents and technical equipment from the administrators”.

“Throughout this process Prolog’s employees and clients have been resilient and supportive in what has been a difficult and uncertain time,” said Dacre.

“It is to their credit that, during administration, there has been minimal disruption to customers. Thanks to the efforts of all parties, the future of the Sherwood Park facility is secure, along with 130 jobs.”

The administrators added Cotton Traders has “brought the warehouse into full alignment with its own business by migrating IT systems and transferring 130 warehouse staff under TUPE regulations”.

Cotton Traders, which had apparently been working closely with the administrators since Prolog went into administration, has agreed a long-term lease with the landlord of the Sherwood Park warehouse, which was previously operated by Prolog.

It was unclear at the time of writing whether this sale referred to all three of Prolog’s remaining sites that were located in Sherwood Park. And with a total of 460 of 618 jobs reportedly saved between this sale and the January sale, the fate of the remaining 158 employees is also currently unclear. PrintWeek has contacted the administrators for clarification.

In its most recent accounts, for the year ended 31 March 2017, Prolog made an operating loss of £970,779 on sales of £34.8m.

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