JJB Sports shuts stores as it goes into administration
STAFF at Cheltenham's JJB Sports store were reeling yesterday after being informed the branch would close with the loss of 20 jobs.
Around 2,200 staff at the chain were made redundant after administrators closed 133 stores and agreed to sell 20 remaining outlets to Sports Direct International.
Among the outlets to close with immediate effect is the chain's Gloucester Road outlet.
Staff were unavailable to comment yesterday.
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Sports Direct bought the remaining 20 stores, the brand and its website for £23.8 million in a deal that will protect 550 jobs.
But it was a worse-than-expected outcome for JJB staff as Sports Direct was reportedly hoping to safeguard up to 1,500 jobs and buy up to 60 stores.
However, David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner at KPMG, who led the sales process, said the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business was too much risk for most interested parties.
News of the chain's downfall comes after the group was hit hard by the squeeze on consumer spending triggered by the financial crisis and by the stellar performance of rivals. It has been battling for survival since 2008 and – despite closing half its stores – has been unable to revive its fortunes.