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Ipswich’s Jack Wills survives chop as Sports Direct reveals stores closures

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 August 2019

Jack Wills could enter administration if the expected Sports Direct takeover goes ahead. Photo: Archant/PA.

Jack Wills could enter administration if the expected Sports Direct takeover goes ahead. Photo: Archant/PA.

Archant

Sports Direct has shut down a string of Jack Wills stores just weeks after acquiring the high street brand.

Jack Wills in Tavern StreetJack Wills in Tavern Street

The British fashion chain was bought by Mike Ashley's firm through a pre-pack administration deal worth £12.8m earlier this month.

Jack Wills operates around 100 stores across the UK, including three Suffolk branches in Ipswich, Southwold and Aldeburgh.

The Sheriffs Office has served Jack Wills in Southwold?s High Street with a forfeiture of lease notice. Photo: Contributed.The Sheriffs Office has served Jack Wills in Southwold?s High Street with a forfeiture of lease notice. Photo: Contributed.

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All three Suffolk sites have survived this wave of closures.

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In total, eight stores will be closing including: Marlborough, Derby, Reigate, Rock, Tunbridge Wells, Durham, Kingston and St Albans.

Sports Direct has said it is working to redeploy impacted staff.

The firm is currently negotiating with Jack Wills' landlords to accept rent-free tenancy agreements across its worst performing stores.

Mike Ashley's group is reportedly seeking to cut rents to zero and offer landlords 5% of turnover.

Southwold's Jack Wills store made headlines last week, after bailiffs were seen changing the locks and serving a Forfeiture of Lease notice.

However, the store was open as usual by the afternoon.


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