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Merry Hill and Bloxwich branches among 80 Poundworld stores to close with the loss of 1,000 jobs

By Simon Penfold | Brierley Hill | Business | Published:

The Poundworld stores at Merry Hill and Bloxwich are the among 80 stores to close nationwide with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs, administrators have revealed today.

More than 1,000 jobs are to go with the closure of 80 Poundworld stores, including the branch at Merry Hill

Attempts to rescue the collapsed company have so far failed and today’s move follows the announcement of 25 store closures earlier this week.

Around 15 workers at the Merry Hill shop and 13 more at the Bloxwich High Street branch face losing their jobs by the end of this month.

Deloitte, the accountancy firm handling the administration process since Poundworld went bust, says the latest 80 stores will be closed between Friday, July 20, and Sunday July 22. It will leave 230 stores open.

That includes its seven remaining stores in the Black Country and southern Staffordshire, including two shops in Wolverhampton, in the Mander Centre and on Birmingham Road, as well as branches on the Reedswood Retail Park in Walsall,t, New Square in West Bromwich, the Queen’s Retail Park in Stafford, Victoria Shopping Park in Hednesford and at the Three Spires in Lichfield.

The 1,024 redundancies will bring the total jobs toll so far to 1,366, including 100 at the head office and 240 from the first set of store closures earlier this week.

Joint administrator Clare Boardman said: “Whilst we remain hopeful that a sale for part, or parts, of the business can still happen, it has not been possible to sell the business as a whole. We would like to thank all the employees for their continued support and commitment during this difficult time. We are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen.”

Clare Boardman and Daniel Butters, restructuring partners at Deloitte, were appointed as joint administrators to the company on June 11. At that time the company ran with 335 stores, a head office and distribution centre at Normanton near Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, and employed around 5,100 people.

Deloitte said the closure of the stores would not affect the potential sale of part, or parts, of the remaining business, “with discussions continuing with interested parties”. This includes deals for the head office and distribution centre. The administrators say they will “continue to progress these discussions over the coming days”.

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Hopes of salvaging the beleauguered retailer have faded in recent days.

Deloitte last week turned down a bid for Poundworld from its founder, Chris Edwards, who was looking to save a raft of stores and safeguard around 3,000 jobs.

On Monday there were reports that the founder of Black Country-based rival Poundland, Steve Smith, was in early-stage talks about a bid to salvage part of Poundworld out of administration. But Mr Smith, the former Willenhall market trader who sold Poundland for £50m with his father in 2002, has not commented on the claims.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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