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Jobs lost as JJB Sports shuts up shop in Crewe
TWELVE people in Crewe have lost their jobs after JJB Sports shut its doors on Monday.
The Market Centre store was one of 133 stores to close after the company – once the biggest sports retailer in Britain – went into administration.
Only 20 shops were saved from closure after being bought by rival Sports Direct – leaving 2,200 people out of work across the country.
A total of 167 JJB employees have also been retained to assist administrators KPMG, including one from Crewe.
“We hope to be able to sell the leasehold interests of some of the remaining stores, which may result in re-employment of some staff,” said David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner.
Just five years ago, JJB’s shares were worth £10 a piece but now all investors – including Microsoft magnate Bill Gates – have seen their holdings wiped out.
Richard Fleming, head of restructuring at KPMG, added: “Successive attempts to restructure the business, both financially and operationally, have not been enough to prevent the company falling into administration.
“All staff made redundant as a result of store closures have had their arrears of wages and holiday entitlements paid in full. “Our team of employment specialists will be supporting staff on completing redundancy forms and putting them in touch with job seeker services.”
JJB’s story of rise and fall began when former Blackburn Rovers footballer and Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan bought a single store in Wigan in 1971. An aggressive expansion drive saw it climb to more than 400 stores by 2007.
In 2007 Mr Whelan sold his family’s holding for £190million to a joint venture formed by Icelandic financial group Exista and Chris Ronnie, who previously worked at Umbro and Sports World.
The group was hit hard by the financial crisis and by strong performances of rivals Sports Direct and JD Sports.
The administrators have set up a 24-hour helpline