Allders to close in three weeks

TROUBLED department store chain Allders is set to shut the doors on its Ipswich store for the last time in less than three weeks, administrators Kroll confirmed today.

TROUBLED department store chain Allders is set to shut the doors on its Ipswich store for the last time in less than three weeks, administrators Kroll confirmed today.

Allders staff are preparing the store for permanent closure on March 20 - just six weeks after Kroll announced they had been unable to find anyone interested in purchasing the Buttermarket store.

The closure will only be averted if Kroll is able to find a buyer before March 20.

A spokesman for the administrators said: "For the stores where the joint administrators have received limited interest, (they) must plan accordingly.


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"As such, the joint administrators have informed staff that unless a bidder comes forward for the Ipswich store that they must begin plans, as a contingency, to close the store at the end of trading of Sunday, March 20.

"There will be some additional days of employment required to assist the administrators after that date."

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It is understood the Ipswich staff will lose their jobs on March 24.

Kroll announced that Ipswich was one of at least 11 of Allders' 45 stores nationwide which had attracted little interest from potential buyers and would therefore close.

Deals have been arranged to sell 24 of the stores, with Bhs acquiring 10, Debenhams eight, and Primark six, while negotiations over the remaining stores continue.

Two hundred and fifty staff will lose their jobs when the Ipswich store closes and up to 900 jobs are to be lost nationwide once the closure programme is complete.

The managers of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre now face the challenge of finding tenants for the 120,000 square feet store.

Centre manager, Colin Roberts said: "There are a number of people we're talking to.

"We've been approached by people as well. It is a good sign. There are some people who may be interested in it in its entirety; there are others who have expressed an interest in some of the space.

"We have got some very good household names that have registered some interest. (But) the major household names don't want the entire space."

Mr Roberts said it is too early to tell how long the store could remain empty.

"We remain confident and optimistic that we will find someone for that store," he said.

Weblink: www.allders.com

N Are you an Allders employee sad to see the Ipswich store close? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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