Business

'Another sad loss' as almost 200 local jobs go at Poundworld

The Poundworld store on Donegall Square in Belfast city centre

ALMOST 200 local jobs are to be lost at budget retailer Poundworld following the final round of store closures at budget retailer Poundworld.

The retail chain, has confirmed that all UK stores will now close and trading will cease by August 10 in a move affecting a total of 2,339 staff.

Poundworld employs 188 people at 12 stores in the north and details of the final closures have been announced gradually this week, starting with two stores at Castlebawn Retail Park , Newtownards and the Donegall Place, Belfast on Wednesday. It then emerged late on Thursday that the company's other Northern Ireland stores located in Derry, Armagh, Omagh, Cookstown, Newtownabbey, Craigavon, Bangor and three more in Belfast would also close their doors.

Retail NI chief executive, Glyn Roberts the closures were "another sad loss to our retail sector".

"Our thoughts are with the staff who are losing their jobs and we hope they will be successful in finding employment elsewhere in the retail sector.

“Given the amount of retail jobs being lost at the minute, I would urge the Department of the Economy to consider what extra help they could provide these former retail workers to find new work or retrain”

Poundworld fell into administration on June 11, putting more than 5,100 jobs at risk across its 335-store portfolio.

Deloitte has been announcing tranches of store closures over the past two weeks after failing to find a buyer for the whole business.

Clare Boardman, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: "We would like to thank all the employees for their continued support and commitment during this difficult time. We are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen."

The administrators are still in talks with some interested parties about selling parts of the remaining business, but hopes of saving a significant number of jobs have faded.

Deloitte has turned down a bid from company founder Chris Edwards, who was looking to save a raft of stores and safeguard around 3,000 jobs.

The founder of rival Poundland, Steven Smith, has also been linked to a bid to salvage part of Poundworld out of administration.

The collapse came amid decreasing footfall, rising costs and weak consumer confidence.

The budget retail chain, formerly owned by TPG Capital, is one of a number of retailers to call in administrators this year, with Toys R Us and Maplin disappearing from UK high streets.

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