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Final 5 TJ Hughes stores confirmed to close

Administrators for failed department store chain TJ Hughes have today confirmed that the remaining stores whose future remained uncertain will close by the end of the month.

Branches in Doncaster, Bradford, Sunderland, Lichfield and Wrexham will all end trading on Wednesday August 31st 2011, with these closures meaning 263 more jobs have been lost.

Out of the retailer’s 56-store portfolio, only six have been saved from closure having been bought up by Lewis’s Home Retail Limited, and over 2,500 employees have been made redundant in total.

The majority of outlets have already closed their doors for the last time and the rest will be running closing down sales until their demise to try and pay off TJ Hughes’ remaining debts.

Tom Jack, Joint Administrator during the process, said: “A purchaser for these remaining stores was not found, and regrettably we have had to schedule these final 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.

“During the administration we are pleased to have been successful in selling six TJ Hughes stores, which has safeguarded over 700 jobs across the UK.”

Industry union group Usdaw has previously criticised the conduct of the administrators during the attempted sale process, claiming that staff were kept in the dark regarding developments despite there appearing to be a pre-arranged closure timetable.

John Gorle, Usdaw National Officer, argued: “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.”

Source : John Whiteaker - Retail Gazette

24 August 2011
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