Robbs of Hexham, Northumberland looks likely to be the sole survivor of the collapse of its owner, department store business Vergo Retail.
The store has been sold to department store operator Beales after Vergo went into administration last month. However, five other outlets closed for good on Saturday, and an axe still hangs over the remaining 10.
The stores that ceased trading at the weekend are Joplings of Sunderland, Great Yarmouth department store, Fashion, Home & More in Clacton and Felixstowe and Vergo at Home in Clacton.
In total, nine of Vergo’s stores have now been closed at a cost of 482 jobs, and if no purchaser comes forward for the remaining 10 outlets their final day of trading will be this Saturday.
Sarah Bell of administrators MCR said the closure of the stores had been inevitable following a lack of any suitable offers.
“Since the administration began we’ve worked hard to secure a purchase of the Vergo business. However, given the tough economic climate and the financial challenges hitting the UK’s retail industry, certain Vergo stores can no longer be sustained,” she said.
“I must reiterate that negotiations are still in progress on a number of stores still operating and cannot rule out a sale of the stores until all avenues have been exhausted. We encourage any interested parties to come forward urgently.”
Meanwhile, Robbs of Hexham was sold as a going concern, including all assets, brand, intellectual property and employees, to Beales earlier this month. It brings the total number of department stores operated by the Bournemouth-based group to 12.
Said Bell: “Following an effective administration process, we’re delighted to confirm the sale of such an iconic store in the region. It’s positive news for both the 76 company employees, whose jobs will be directly transferred to the new owners, as well as the local community.”