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Joplings in Sunderland to close

Iconic independent department store Joplings in Sunderland, part of the beleaguered Vergo Retail group, is to close tomorrow.

Joplings of Sunderland will be shuttered on Saturday, along with two other department stores in Clacton and Great Yarmouth, after the administrators to Vergo Retail failed to receive any “suitable” offers.

Administrators MCR said ten stores would continue to trade and added that negotiations with potential purchasers would continue but should no buyer be found, all remaining stores would close on June 26.

MCR were appointed to Vergo Retail in May. Since then, nine stores have shut and 482 people were made redundant.

Earlier this month independent department store chain Beales acquired Robbs of Hexham for for £250,000. It is unclear whether Beales would consider buying any more stores.

Sarah Bell, partner at MCR said: “Since the administration began we have worked hard to secure a purchase of the Vergo business.  However, given the tough economic climate and the financial challenges hitting the UK’s retail industry, certain Vergo stores can no longer be sustained.

“I must reiterate that negotiations are still in progress on a number of stores still operating and we cannot rule out a sale of the stores until all avenues have been exhausted. We encourage any interested parties to come forward urgently.”

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