The administrators of Johnsons Shoes, a retailer that has traded for more than 50 years, have instructed CAPA to carry out audits on various stores operated by the business.

Begbies Traynor has appointed CAPA during the administration process, which was extended for a year as the corporate insolvency and restructuring firm explores further ways to boost returns to creditors.

Incorporated in 1970, Johnsons was a family-owned business that traded profitably for decades, offering shoes and accessories through brands such as Timberland, Hotter, Barbour and Ugg.

The business ran into problems in 2019 due to depleted funding from its major lender, increasing rent costs on leasehold premises, cashflow issues resulting from online competition and a subsequent absence of trading due to the pandemic.

Richard Toone and Ian Defty of Begbies Traynor were ultimately appointed as joint administrators in the spring of 2020 but they were able to secure a sale of some of the stores to Newjohn, a new owner with more than 20 years of history of running a retail operation. The sale safeguarded nearly 70 jobs in the summer of that year.

As the administration has progressed and been extended, Begbies Traynor has called in CAPA to conduct a major programme of rates audits on 18 stores that Johnsons trade from around the UK.

This means CAPA’s Audit team will undertake a forensic analysis of business rates outgoings through the outlets, using bespoke software to interrogate data on expenditure to the local authorities.

The team will inspect the information to discover any errors and anomalies, before recovering any overpaid sums for the creditors.