Christ­mas threat to 11 shop jobs

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - by Mark Davey [email protected]­bel­town­

The Camp­bel­town branch of a na­tional shop chain has told cus­tomers it is clos­ing but told staff talks with its land­lord are on­go­ing. The Orig­i­nal Fac­tory Shop (TOFS), based in Burn­ley, has been in a Com­pany Vol­un­tary Ar­range­ment (CVA) since July and is rene­go­ti­at­ing leases with land­lords af­ter al­ready clos­ing 32 stores, about 10 per cent of its to­tal. Camp­bel­town TOFS, at 1-3 Main Street, held a staff meet­ing last Fri­day and, ac­cord­ing to the firm’s Lon­don-based pub­lic re­la­tions team, FTI Con­sult­ing, staff were told that un­der the CVA the land­lord can ter­mi­nate the lease. Eleanor Pur­don from FTI said: ‘Store col­leagues, two of whom are full-time and nine part-time, have been no­ti­fied of the fact that we have been served no­tice. ‘We con­tinue to be in ne­go­ti­a­tions with our land­lord and we will be keep­ing them up to date with any progress. ‘TOFS doesn’t want the store to close. It be­lieves it plays an im­por­tant part in the lo­cal Camp­bel­town com­mu­nity and is try­ing to agree terms with the land­lord to en­sure the store can be re­tained. ‘The com­pany has there­fore been legally bound to en­gage de­spite this be­ing a well-per­form­ing store.’ This in­for­ma­tion con­flicts with an email flyer sent out from TOFS head-of­fice about four hours be­fore the state­ment was is­sued on Tues­day. The flyer states, in bold let­ters: ‘Un­for­tu­nately your Camp­bel­town Store is clos­ing. ‘We are hold­ing a clos­ing down sale, 25 per cent off on fash­ion and footwear start­ing to­mor­row (Wed­nes­day).’ On Wed­nes­day morn­ing the store was busy with queues at the tills. Ac­cord­ing to the TOFS web­site the firm is: ‘Ac­tively seek­ing more store sites through­out the UK, par­tic­u­larly in the South of Eng­land with tourist ar­eas of prime in­ter­est. ‘Prin­ci­pal cri­te­ria are: Towns un­der 20,000 pop­u­la­tion - no min­i­mum; any prop­erty, any con­di­tion con­sid­ered, with or with­out re­tail con­sent, lease­hold or free­hold.’ The Courier tried to con­tact the land­lords but was un­suc­cess­ful.

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