Two more TJ Hughes stores have been bought – a deal that brings a last-minute reprieve for the Widnes branch, which had been earmarked for closure tomorrow.
That and the Newcastle branch of the discount department store chain, which went into administration a month ago, have been acquired by Lewis’s Home Retail – the company that has also snapped up the Liverpool, Eastbourne, Glasgow and Sheffield stores.
The move secures 134 more retail jobs – 58 in Widnes and 76 in Newcastle.
Ernst & Young joint administrator Tom Jack said: “We are delighted to have completed another deal, which protects further jobs across the north and brings the total number of jobs saved to 576.”
The Widnes store had been amongst the 22 branches that the administrators say will close this week. The date for its closure had been set for Thursday, August 11.
Meanwhile, Ernst & Young say they are still looking to sell the company’s remaining business and assets as a going concern.
After the completion of the latest deal, Anil Juneja, managing director of the Benross Group – of which Lewis’s Home Retail is the retail arm – said that both stores had strong growth potential and that the company was committed to safeguarding local jobs and rejuvenating the stores.