Work­ers’ hope dashed at cri­sis hit pound store

Founder’s deal is off

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Thom­son

There is a real fear for the jobs at Pound­world’s Wishaw and Mother­well stores.

The stores at Wishaw Re­tail Park and at Bran­don Pa­rade, Mother­well, face an un­cer­tain fu­ture af­ter the com­pany called in ad­min­is­tra­tors last month.

Pound­world’s founder had said he was hop­ing to save more than half of the re­tail gi­ant’s stores and safe­guard ap­prox­i­mately 3,000 jobs na­tion­wide.

How­ever, ne­go­ti­a­tions stalled be­cause his of­fer fell short of what the ad­min­is­tra­tor hoped to achieve,

Chris Ed­wards started Pound­world on a Wake­field mar­ket stall in 1974 and built it into a lead­ing high street brand, with more than 300 stores across the UK, sell­ing a vast range of prod­ucts that were all priced at a pound.

US pri­vate eq­uity firm TPG ac­quired a ma­jor­ity stake in the busi­ness in 2015, but the com­pany called in ad­min­is­tra­tors Deloitte ear­lier this month.

Ed­wards had tabled a deal to save 186 stores across the coun­try.

He said: “I’ve made a sub­stan­tial and cred­i­ble of­fer, which is the best of­fer we can put for­ward, but in my opinion, it hasn’t been given the re­spect it de­serves.

“Al­though it was close to what the ad­min­is­tra­tor wants, we’ve now had writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion that it’s not high enough, which I’m shocked and sur­prised at, con­sid­er­ing we were go­ing to save 3,000 jobs.

“You have to con­sider the moral ar­gu­ment in this and the fact that peo­ple’s liveli­hoods are on the line and clearly to some peo­ple it ap­pears that doesn’t mat­ter.

“The amount of ex­tra money the ad­min­is­tra­tor is hold­ing out for is a drop in the ocean when you con­sider how much money will be needed to sta­bilise the busi­ness and re­plen­ish stock lev­els. I now be­lieve the busi­ness will close rather than jobs be­ing saved.”

In talks There had been hope for work­ers at Pound­world in Wishaw Re­tail Park

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