Derrys of Plymouth, Robbs of Hexham and Joplings of Sunderland are among a raft of department stores set to close after their owner, Vergo Retail, went into administration.

Department stores topple as Vergo Retail collapses

Derrys of Plymouth, Robbs of Hexham and Joplings of Sunderland are among a raft of department stores set to close after their owner, Vergo Retail, went into administration.

Department stores topple as Vergo Retail collapses

Closing-down sales have already begun at the nine outlets, which will shut down in four weeks’ time, and 335 people have lost their jobs with immediate effect.

The other stores earmarked for closure are the Fashion, Home & More outlets in Witham, Clacton-on-Sea, Stowmarket and Dovercourt, the former Co-op department store in Norwich and The Jewellery Store in Colchester.

A tenth department store owned by Vergo Retail, the historic Lewis’s of Liverpool, will also close within the next four weeks, with the loss of a further 200 jobs. However, it falls outside the administration as its closure had already been announced.

Sarah Bell of administrators MCR said that the nine stores were deemed to be loss making and that Vergo Retail “could not continue to trade in the short term without implementing immediate cost-saving measures.

“Regrettably, this means that 335 positions have been made redundant.”

However, she said that there was an opportunity for interested parties to come forward and rescue the remaining business as a going concern, and that a buyer for the stores earmarked for closure would not be ruled out until they finally ceased trading.

Vergo Retail was set up in 2007 and operates stores formerly owned by department store company Owen Owen and by some Co-operative Societies.

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