29 workers lose their jobs as shops close in Ellesmere Port
THE closure of two shops in Ellesmere Port has cost 29 people their jobs.
HMV at The Coliseum and Pumpkin Patch at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet both shut their doors last week.
Fashion retailer Peacocks in the Port Arcades also looks to be under threat of closure.
Last week the 563-store chain went into administration with KMPG LLP and the store, which employs 16 staff, could be sold by administrators.
At the HMV store 15 jobs, including eight full-time positions, were made redundant when the struggling retailer closed.
The company, which sells music, films, games and books, has axed about 40 stores in the past 12 months and The Coliseum Retail Park’s premises is the latest casualty. It blamed challenging trading conditions after reporting a Christmas sales slump of 13.6% at its music stores in the UK and Ireland. The HMV Group expects to close another 40 shops this year.
HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: “We’re very sorry to be closing our outlet in Cheshire Oaks, which is not a decision we’ve taken lightly and certainly doesn’t in any way reflect on the fantastic work colleagues we have there, who we are looking to relocate to other stores in the region where at all possible, or indeed on our regular customers, who we’d like to thank for their valued support over the past eight years.”
Children’s clothes shop Pumpkin Patch had employed 14 people before it went into administration.
Administrator Deloitte said it had been necessary to close five stores in the UK, with 60 jobs being made redundant, though the rest would continue to trade while options are pursued.
The Reading-based company has 36 stores in the UK, employing about 400 staff.
Deloitte said the company had ‘suffered as a result of the unprecedented and prolonged downturn being experienced in the UK retail sector’.
Only Pumpkin Patch Limited is subject to insolvency proceedings and the online and non-UK operations are not affected.
The joint administrators – Daniel Butters and Richard Hawes, partners at Deloitte – will continue to trade the remaining stores while strategic options for the UK operations are pursued.
Peacocks chief executive Richard Kirk said: “Peacocks is a brand with great heritage, and it is with deep sadness that we have been left with no other option but to place the business into administration.
“This is a hugely sad development for all of our stakeholders, especially our employees, who have shown total commitment to the business over an uncertain and difficult period.”