Poundworld announces it will close 80 stores with 1,000 job losses

Poundworld announces it will close 80 stores around the UK with more than 1,000 job losses

  • Poundworld will close an extra 80 stores resulting in 1,024 job losses nationwide
  • This comes days after 25 stores were closed this week with 242 made redundant
  • It is the latest retailer to go bust as future of Britain’s high street remains in crisis

Poundworld has announced it will close 80 stores around the UK with more than 1,000 job losses. 

The closures are in addition to the 25 store closures announced earlier this week, which resulted in 242 redundancies.

Now administrators have said an extra 80 stores will shut with 1,024 people set to lose their jobs.  

The administrator said the latest closures will not impact the potential sale of the remaining business, and that discussions with interested parties were ongoing.

Poundworld has announced it is closing 80 stores, with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs

Joint administrator Clare Boardman said: ‘While we remain hopeful that a sale for part, or parts, of the business can still happen, it has not been possible to sell the business as a whole.

‘We would like to thank all the employees for their continued support and commitment during this difficult time.

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‘We are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen.’

The news comes three days after the business announced it was closing 25 stores, resulting in 242 job losses. 

Poundworld went bust in June and Deloitte, which is overseeing the process, has been attempting to secure a buyer for the business ever since.

The news comes as hopes for a rescue of the beleaguered retailer fade, with July 15 already set to be the last day of trading for affected stores

Poundworld, which was formerly owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, has 335 stores and employs around 5,100 people.

Deloitte last week turned down a bid for Poundworld from its founder, Chris Edwards, who was looking to save a raft of stores and safeguard around 3,000 jobs. 

More than 30,000 High Street jobs have been lost or left hanging in the balance this year as a string of shops and restaurants struggle to survive.

The crisis in the industry has led to the collapse of household names such as Toys R Us and Maplin as well as job losses at Marks & Spencer, Mothercare and Debenhams.

House of Fraser outlined plans last month to shut 31 stores, putting 6,000 jobs on the line, as it fights to stay afloat.

A string of restaurant chains including Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and Carluccio’s have also shut sites and axed staff.

Experts warned that worse was to come as traditional shops faced an onslaught from online rivals such as Amazon and powerful discounters including Aldi and Lidl.

Richard Hyman, an independent retail analyst, said: ‘The big picture is there are too many retailers with too many stores for the market to feed.’

House of Frase announced the closure of half its shops – putting at risk 6,000 jobs

A report by the Centre for Retail Research suggested that 31,000 stores would close and 552,500 High Street jobs disappear between 2017 and 2022.

Its director, Professor Joshua Bamfield, said: ‘2018 is likely to be the worst for retailers since 2008 at the height of the recession as retailers abandon stores and loyal employees as well as cutting costs to compete with Amazon and Aldi.

‘Retailers’ problems are caused by a decade of weak growth, new consumer behaviour – buying online but also spending more on experiences, travel and eating out – higher labour costs, uneconomic rents and business rates.’

Poundworld, which was set up in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in 1974 by Chris Edwards and his son, also Chris, has 335 stores and 5,100 staff and serves two million customers a week.

It sells 8,000 products, mostly priced at £1, including groceries, toiletries, household cleaning goods and sweets, but has been hit rising costs and stiff competition.

The firm’s main rivals were Poundland and Poundstretcher as well as internet retailers.

Its owner, the American private equity firm TPG Capital, which bought Poundworld for £150million in 2015, has tried to find a buyer for the company.

But last-ditch rescue talks with the London investment group R Capital collapsed.

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