YORK school uniform retailer Rawcliffes is closing after more than 20 years in the city following the appointment of administrators to its parent company.

However, as the Colliergate shop prepares to close its doors, a rival Yorkshire firm is opening in York offering to pick up trade and take on staff from Rawcliffes.

Emblazon, which has a shop in Harrogate and an embroidery factory in Keighley, is planning to open a shop in Micklegate in July.

The company had long-term ambitions to move to the city, but sped up its plans following news of Rawcliffes’ closure.

Rawcliffes’ parent company John Cheatle Ltd, which operated 34 high street branches and 46 in-school shops, went into administration in April.

Shortly afterwards, a management buyout saw 12 branches and 15 in-school shops saved under a new company, Newplan Solutions, however the York shop was not part of the rescue deal.

The shop, which employs four staff and supplies between 25 and 30 schools in and around York, is continuing to trade in administration.

Administrators Grant Thornton UK LLP said unless a buyer could be found for York’s Rawcliffes it was likely to close at the end of August.

Gary Nash, managing director of Emblazon, said: “It was our long-term plan to open in York, but the need for a school wear shop in the city with so many schools became apparent with Rawcliffes closing.

“As soon as we heard they were going into administration we were keen, along with our manufacturers, to ensure a provision was put into play straight away.

“It has been very last minute for us, and we have worked very hard to get the stock in and badged up. Normally we put our orders in for summer in November so we have had to oversee a very quick turnaround to be open by July.

“We are looking at creating five new jobs and have tried to retain staff from Rawcliffes where possible. There’s some really good experience there for us, and we can offer them stability.”

Mr Nash said Emblazon has already agreed deals to work with ten schools in York, with the company keen to take on more.