Trends & Features

133 JJB stores close with loss of 2,200 jobs

133 JJB stores will close today (October 1) after administrator KPMG was only able to secure the sale of 20 of the retailer’s outlets to rival Sports Direct, saving around 550 jobs.

In a statement, the Mike Ashley owned retailer said: “The group today announces the acquisition of certain of the trade, assets and product brands from the administrators of JJB Sports plc for a cash consideration of £23.77 million, with up to a further £0.25 million of additional cash consideration payable after completion of a post-sale stock take.

“The group will acquire 20 stores, substantially all of the stock in the business and the Slazenger Golf brand licences, as well as JJB’s freehold property in Wigan.”

Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: “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.

“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.

“We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests.”

David McCorquodale, the corporate finance partner who led the sales process, said that in spite of the severity of financial distress suffered by JJB, KPMG spoke with over 100 parties in the first few days of its appointment as administrator, with eight trade and private equity players tabling first round bids.

“Unfortunately the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business was too much risk for most interested parties,” explains McCorquodale.

“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.”

The administrators have set up a 24-hour helpline for employees: 0845 3022538.

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