There are conflicting reports concerning the future of Whittard, the tea specialist which went into administration just before Christmas.
Whittard of Chelsea was bought from the administrators extremely quickly by Epic, a company which has been described as a turnround specialist and which also owns the gift chain Past Times.
At the time of the purchase, a couple of days before Christmas, Epic did say that ‘all stores are remaining open'.
However, the first local press report following the rescue of Whittard is from York, where it is suggested that one of the brand's two local shops is to close.
The local paper says that the information came from the shop staff, but that the new owners have refused to comment.
An EPIC spokesman has declined to comment, saying only that Whittard is seen as ‘an excellent brand with a strong future'.
By Ian Boughton