Ipswich Topshop closes for good as staff made redundant via conference call

A man walks past the Topshop flagship store at Oxford Circus, London, part of the Arcadia Group.

A man walks past the Topshop flagship store at Oxford Circus, London. - Credit: KIRSTY O'CONNOR/PA WIRE

Staff from Topshop in Ipswich are believed to have been made redundant while muted on a conference call — as the chain is in talks with online giant ASOS about its future.

A staff member said around 10 workers from the store in Sailmakers shopping centre and three other stores were called at 2pm yesterday, with only 20 minutes notice.

While on mute, they were told that the store was closing and they were being redundant at the end of the month as the company is in administration.

One former employee from the Ipswich store said: "I suppose they were given a document they had to read out. And it basically just said that we'll all be made redundant.

"They said that they'd been told shortly before by the administrators that it was happening, so they obviously wanted to tell us as soon as they could.

"I think everyone kind of knew what was coming. We were all on mute as well so when they said it, it just went silent."

The employees were told they would be paid until the end of the month and that they would be sent more information. 

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They were later sent documents from Deloitte, the fashion chain's administrators, confirming they would be made redundant on January 31.

One letter reads: "In light of extremely challenging ongoing trading conditions we regret to have to inform you that the company has determined that it is no longer in a position to make payments to you for services rendered by you under your contract of employment with the company."

The letter goes on to explain that the company has no funds to pay notice pay or redundancy pay and instructing employees to apply to the Redundancy Payments Service to recoup what they may be owed. 

A spokesman for Topshop declined to comment on any redundancies but confirmed that the Ipswich store was closing permanently.

The spokesman declined to comment on the future of the Bury St Edmunds store.

Topshop is currently in exclusive talks with online fashion giants Asos about a takeover.

Asos said in a short statement to the London Stock Exchange: “The board believes this would represent a compelling opportunity to acquire strong brands that resonate well with its customer base.

“However, at this stage, there can be no certainty of a transaction and Asos will keep shareholders updated as appropriate. Any acquisition would be funded from cash reserves.”

Asos does not currently have a high street presence, so any deal is unlikely to include saving the stores leaving the brand trading online only.

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