Last 22 Paul Simon stores to close

The final 22 stores at home furnishings chain Paul Simon are to close in the next month with the loss of 209 jobs, administrators said today.

Deloitte sold seven outlets to TJ Hughes owner Lewis Home Retail
Deloitte sold seven outlets to TJ Hughes owner Lewis Home Retail

Deloitte sold seven outlets to TJ Hughes owner Lewis Home Retail earlier this month but has been unable to save the other 43 shops.

Twenty-one stores have closed last month and this month and the remainder will close in the next three weeks once stock has been sold in clearance sales. It means that all but 73 jobs out of an original workforce of 571 have been saved.

Deloitte partner Lee Manning said: "We very much regret that a buyer for the remaining stores as a going concern could not be found.

"We will close stores over the coming weeks, selling the remaining unsold stock in these stores in clearance sales. The business cannot trade indefinitely without the prospect of a buyer."

Loss-making stores with excessive rents, a complicated delivery model for relatively modest transaction sizes and financing problems combined to reduce the ongoing viability of the enterprise.

"This ultimately led to the appointment of administrators and restricted the level of interest from potential purchasers," he added.

The final 22 stores to close are at Aylesbury, Aylesford, Basildon, Byfleet, Catford, Chadwell Heath, Colchester, Crawley, Croydon, Fareham, Farnborough, Ipswich, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Norwich, Orpington, Peterborough, Rayleigh, Southampton, Stevenage, Swindon, Watford.