02 October 2012
JJB Sports administration leads to 2,200 redundancies
Some 2,200 employees of JJB Sports are facing redundancy after it emerged that the retailer has gone into administration.
The company's website and 20 of its high street stores are to be sold to rival sports clothing and equipment firm Sports Direct for a fee of around £23.77 million - a deal that will save around 550 jobs at the organisation.
However, the rest of the retailer's 133 branches across the country are not included in this agreement, meaning individuals employed in these stores look set to lose their positions as they are to be closed with immediate effect.
Administrators KPMG indicated that even though they had discussed a possible sale with in excess of 100 interested parties over the course of their time attempting to find a resolution to JJB's problems, no deal was able to be reached.
Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, commented: "Successive attempts to restructure the business, both financially and operationally, have not been enough to prevent the company falling into administration."
"Unfortunately a buyer could only be found for 20 stores on a going-concern basis," he added.
Speaking to the BBC former owner Dave Whelan - who founded JJB in 1971 before selling it 36 years later - said the fact the company is now completely worthless and has collapsed is "amazing".
"When I sold it - I sold it something like five years ago - just before that it was valued at £1 billion," the current owner of Wigan Athletic Football Club noted.
In order to assist those people losing their jobs, KPMG has agreed to pay their arrears of wages and full holiday entitlements.
Fraser Harrower, an ex-sales adviser at JJB's branch in Dunfermline, told the BBC that two administrators visited unannounced yesterday (October 1st) and his store was subsequently shut down around 90 seconds later.
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Posted by Chris Stevenson