UK retailer Poundworld to close all 335 stores costing thousands of jobs

Big British High Street retailers are suffering from fierce online competition from the likes of Amazon, while battling against discounting in big supermarket chains.
Big British High Street retailers are suffering from fierce online competition from the likes of Amazon, while battling against discounting in big supermarket chains.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) 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 (July 19).

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 on Friday will see 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 in June.

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 spokesperson 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 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 store, Maplin electronics stores and Warren Evans bed manufacturers.

In addition, restructuring is underway for New Look apparel, Carpetright carpet retailer and the children's clothing and accessories firm Mothercare.