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Coronavirus Kent: BrightHouse and Carluccio's file for administration

Two high street firms have collapsed amid the coronavirus crisis, putting 4,500 jobs at risk.

BrightHouse, the largest 'rent-to-own' retailer in the UK, and restaurant chain Carluccio's have both filed for administration.

BrightHouse - which has a number of sites in Kent - has struggled for several years
BrightHouse - which has a number of sites in Kent - has struggled for several years

The two companies were in court this morning to formalise insolvency proceedings.

BrightHouse, which has struggled in recent years, is thought to have been toppled over the edge by the coronavirus outbreak, leaving 2,400 jobs hanging by a thread.

It forced the firm to close all its stores - including its branches in Kent, which includes outlets in Margate, Folkestone, Ashford, Chatham, Dover, Ramsgate and Dartford.

In 2019, branches in Maidstone and Gravesend had closed as part of an earlier restructuring.

Meanwhile, the collapse of Carluccio's - which was founded by chef Antonio Carluccio 21 years ago - has put more than 2,000 jobs at risk.

Carluccio's has a branch at Bluewater, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells
Carluccio's has a branch at Bluewater, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells

In Kent, the Italian chain has a branch at Bluewater, Canterbury's Fenwick store and in Tunbridge Wells.

Both administrations come within just 72 hours of Alok Sharma, the business secretary, setting out emergency reforms to insolvency rules.

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