Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Thousands of jobs at risk after collapse of Yorkshire-based Poundworld chain

Takeover talks fell through at the weekend Takeover talks fell through at the weekend
Laurie Berry | 11 June, 2018, 20:26

Discount store Poundworld has fallen into administration putting 5,000 jobs at risk.

The retailer, which has stores in Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley is poised to appoint Deloitte to handle an administration after last-ditch rescue talks with R Capital broke down over the weekend.

Poundworld, which is owned by TPG Capital, has around 350 stores.

However, Deloitte said that the business would continue trading, with no store closures or redundancies planned at this time. In 2016-17, losses for the financial year were £17.1m, up from £5.4m the year before.

Poundworld has around 350 stores across the United Kingdom, including branches at Bloxwich, the intu Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill, Hednesford, Lichfield, on the Reedswood Retail Park in Walsall, in Stafford and West Bromwich and two in Wolverhampton.

"Unfortunately, this has not been possible".

It also comes just days after department store chain House of Fraser outlined plans to close 31 of its 59 stores - including its flagship Oxford Street outlet - affecting a total of 6,000 jobs.

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Chris Edwards, who founded the business in 1974 before selling it to TPG for 150m, is thought to be one of those who have expressed an interest in buying back the business. It follows the collapse this year of Toys R Us UK, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality.

Deloitte added that they believe a buyer could still be found for the business, or at least part of it. "We thank all employees for their support at this hard time".

A TPG spokesman said: "This was a hard decision for every party involved".

"We invested in Poundworld because of our belief in how the company serves its customers and the strength of its employees".

"Despite investing resources to strengthen the business, the decline in United Kingdom retail and challenging behaviour affected Poundworld significantly".

The news comes hot on the heels of House of Fraser revealing it was to close more than half of its United Kingdom stores in a bid to make it viable.

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