ONLINE retailer, the Hut Group, has been confirmed as the business which has acquired the assets of York fashion retailer Coggles Limited.

The deal included stock and all intellectual property such as the brand and the company’s domain names, but the shops have been closed and the remaining staff made redundant.

About half of Coggles 60 staff were made redundant when joint administrators Andy Clay and David Acland of Begbies Traynor were appointed in May, including 20 in York.

Administrators were appointed after investment talks broke down.

Andy Clay said: “Our primary duty is to bring about the optimum return for creditors and the offer from the Hut Group was an extremely good deal.

“Unfortunately, most of the interest we received was from potential purchasers wanting to acquire the online side of Coggles’ business which represented the bulk of turnover, rather than for its retail outlets. This means that the stores in York have closed and the remaining staff have been made redundant.

“Whilst it is sad to see Coggles disappearing from the high street for the time being, and the loss of employment for the remaining staff, it is positive that the business will continue as part of a large and successful specialist online retail group.”

The business started on York's Newgate market and became Sarah Coggles in 1974 when it moved into its first premises on Low Petergate in York. Founder Victoria Bage named the business after the secretary with whom she caught her husband having an affair to remind him of his mistake.

The business has grown, taking on further outlets on the street and in 2011 it received £3 million investment from Manchester Square Enterprises, part of Pentland Group plc, after which it grew by 105 per cent.

Mark Bage, chief executive and creative director, said the business was growing at a significant rate and had a predicted turnover for 2013 of £8.1 million.

It had been trying to secure a second round of £4 million investment to enable it to open new sales channels, increase its global marketing budget and build brand awareness.

But poor performance pre-Christmas meant it was required sooner than they had anticipated, said Mr Bage who added the continuing weak economic climate has made trading the most difficult the business has experienced since 1974.

The Hut Group also bought Zavvi, the music, games and film retailer, in 2009 and owns retails sites in the health and beauty; weight management; clothing and accessories, sports nutrition, vitamins and cycling and endurance sectors.

A buyer is still being sought for the freehold of the retail unit on Low Petergate.