DELOITTE ADMINISTRATORS are to close several stores at the online and outlet retailers Paul Simon after widespread flooding left the business with cashflow issues.
Lee Manning (pictured) and Nick Edwards, partners at Deloitte, were appointed joint administrators on 2 April but said they would continue to trade the home furnishings retailer, while seeking a buyer. Headquartered in Barking, Paul Simon operates about 50 stores with an online business and employs about 550 staff.
On appointment Manning said that the widespread flooding restricted customer access to several stores which made “an element of the store portfolio” unprofitable – leading to cashflow deficiencies.
The administrators announced that they are to close 17 of the 50 outlet stores in the next three weeks. There are 137 members of staff employed at these stores, although these related redundancies will be announced in three weeks. However, 28 staff have been made redundant in the company’s head-office, warehouse and factory.
Lee Manning, joint administrator, said: “As part of the review of Paul Simon’s financial position, we have analysed the store portfolio and identified 17 loss making stores for closure. This step has been taken to enhance the prospect of securing a sale of all or part of the remaining business as a going concern.
The stores that are due to close are: Aylesbury, Banbury, Bedford, Bournemouth, Daventry, Dunstable, Gillingham, Great Yarmouth, Luton, Margate, Portsmouth, Reading, Sittingbourne, Strood, Wimbledon, Worcester, and Worthing.