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Another 12 TJ Hughes stores to close costing 585 jobs

Administrators for TJ Hughes confirmed yesterday that another 12 of the failed retailer’s store will close in the next two weeks.

The closures will result in the loss of 585 jobs in addition to the more than 1,000 positions already gone after another 30 of the retailer’s outlets ceased trading earlier this month.

As with other job losses from the group, employees of the latest affected store, which range in location from Northern Ireland to the right across England, will be made redundant two days after the outlets shut down.

Stores set to close due to this latest announcement and last days of trading are:

August 21st 2011 – Bootle, Coventry, Corby, Romford, Redditch, Plymouth, Oldham, Derby, Scunthorpe and Belfast.

August 24th – Hanley

August 26th - Warrington

Tom Jack, Ernst & Young Director and Joint Administrator for TJ Hughes, said: “A purchaser for these stores was not found, and regrettably we have had to schedule the store closures. We are extremely grateful to the employees and management at all the group’s stores for their loyalty and support during this very difficult time.

“We are keen to stress that those stores unaffected by these closures will continue to trade for the time being,” he concluded.

In total only six of the group’s stores have been saved, in a purchase by Lewis’s Home Retail Limited which will see the Liverpool flagship stay open, but 42 have been lost and around 2,200 staff made redundant.

Union group Usdaw has reacted angrily to the way the administration process, which began in June, has been conducted, claiming that the slow release of information regarding the future of the business has been damaging to its workers.

John Gorle, Usdaw NationalOfficer, argues that a “predetermined closure timetable” seems to have been followed but employees have been kept in the dark.

“Our members are understandably extremely angry at the way they are being treated,” Gorle said.

“Loyal and hardworking staff are keeping stores open and running despite their precarious situation and as a absolute minimum they should be getting regular and accurate information from the administrators and proper notice and consultation before being made redundant.

“This is yet another example of the urgent need for government to review the laws surrounding liquidation and insolvency. Administrators are able to ignore the legal protections and contractual terms of employees because they know it is the taxpayer who ultimately picks up the bill for any compensation awarded to staff as a result.”

Source : Jon Whiteaker – Retail Gazette

18 August 2011
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