Last week’s riots have proved to be the final nail in the coffin for TJ Hughes’ Salford store – so badly damaged in the unrest that it has now had to close down.
Ernst & Young, administrators for the discount department store chain, have also announced the imminent closure of a further eight branches.
The Middlesbrough, Southend and Preston stores will shut tomorrow, Tuesday August 16, Bristol, King’s Lynn and Newport stores on Wednesday, and Ipswich and Maidstone on Thursday, bringing a further 452 job losses on top of those previously announced at the chain. Closing down sales are already in progress at all of the stores.
Meanwhile, the branch in Salford – one of the cities worst affected by last week’s disturbances – has already ceased trading. The store was severely vandalised and a large quantity of stock looted last Tuesday night. As a result, said the administrators, it was no longer viable to allow the store to continue to trade.
The closure means that 22 Salford employees are now out of work.
Commenting on the sudden closure of the Salford store, joint administrator Tom Jack said: “We had hoped to allow trading to continue for longer at the Salford store to give the best chance of finding a buyer, but after [Tuesday’s] attack this is no longer possible.”
He also said that it was “regrettable” that the administrators had had to
schedule further store closures, “and we are extremely grateful to the employees and management at all the group’s stores, the head office and warehouses for their loyalty and support during what has been a very difficult and uncertain time”.
Twenty-two TJ Hughes’ stores ceased trading last week, but six stores have been sold to Lewis’s Home Retail, and the administrators say they are still looking to sell the company’s remaining business and assets as a going concern. Promotional activity is continuing and new stock being introduced from a variety of sources.
“We continue in negotiations with interested parties for a number of the remaining stores in the group’s portfolio, and we are keen to stress that those stores unaffected by these closures will continue to trade for the time being,” Jack concluded.