Poundworld to shutter remaining UK stores

Poundworld said it will close its remaining stores in several phases over the next three weeks. The brand, known for its single-pound price on most of its products, had 335 stores and employed nearly 5,100 people before entering bankruptcy last month
Poundworld said it will close its remaining stores in several phases over the next three weeks. The brand, known for its single-pound price on most of its products, had 335 stores and employed nearly 5,100 people before entering bankruptcy last month.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Bankrupt British retailer Poundworld will close all of its remaining stores as well as its distribution centre and head office, shedding more than 2,600 jobs, its administrators announced on Thursday.

The budget chain, which went into administration last month, said it will shutter the stores in several phases over the next three weeks.

The first wave yesterday was to have seen the closure of the logistics centre and headquarters, with the departure of 299 employees, followed by a further 78 stores and 907 employees.

The remaining 112 stores will be closed by Aug 10, resulting in the dismissal of another 1,432 workers.

The brand, known for its single-pound price on most of its products, had 335 stores and employed nearly 5,100 people before entering bankruptcy last month.

Administrators Deloitte had already closed 145 stores and laid off 1,797 people, after failing to find a last-ditch buyer to take over the business.

"Discussions will continue between the administrators and interested parties for the potential sale of parts of the remaining business," said a spokesman for the restructuring process.

British retailers with large numbers of stores are suffering from fierce online competition from the likes of Amazon, while battling against discounting in big supermarket chains.

The country is also experiencing weak household spending generally amid economic uncertainty generated by Brexit.

House of Fraser, the Chinese-owned department store chain, said last month that it would close more than half its shops across Britain and Ireland, risking the loss of 6,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, thousands of jobs have gone with the collapse of clothing outlet Calvetron, Toys 'R' Us toy chain, Maplin electronics stores and Warren Evans bed manufacturers.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline 'Poundworld to shutter remaining UK stores'. Print Edition | Subscribe