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100 Rapid Hardware jobs lost

MORE than 100 staff at struggling retailer Rapid Hardware were told they have lost their jobs.

In a letter sent out by administrator Duff & Phelps on Saturday, days of uncertainty ended as employees heard they were being made redundant.

Employees at the iconic firm, which went into administration last Tuesday, now have to apply for statutory redundancy and unpaid wages.

Steve Gornall, of Speke, who worked at Rapid for 23 years, told the ECHO: “It was clear from the very beginning that the administrators had no interest in keeping the store open.

“There was stock on the shelves – we could have kept trading.

“But we all saw this coming because the administrators refused to answer our questions about the future.

“It was obvious they knew what they wanted to do but chose not to tell us.”

In a statement, Philip Duffy, Joint Administrator, said: "The financial position of the Company is such that it can no longer continue to trade as there is insufficient stock to generate sales with which to meet on-going trading liabilities, including employee wages and salaries.

"The Joint Administrators have now written to all employees to confirm that the store will not be re-opening and as such all employees have been made redundant with effect from 8 February 2013."

The famous DIY and hardware store, which opened in 1971, went into administration after failing to agree a deal with its banker Royal Bank of Scotland.

The store closed its doors to shoppers last Thursday with concerned customers gathered outside worried they would not get their money back.

Staff said they have not been paid for any work done since January 1.

Another staff member, who preferred not to be named, said: “I think they were already getting letters ready last Thursday.

“They must have known about this last week.

“We have now got to fill out this form to apply for redundancy and lost wages, but I am not hopeful of receiving anything.”

Senior staff told the ECHO last week that the administrators had issued threats of redundancy if they did not turn up for work, even though pay could not be guaranteed.

The administrator denied the allegations.

Source : Daniel Johnson – Liverpool Echo

10 February 2013
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