The administrators of Vergo Retail, the owner of iconic independent department stores including Robbs of Hexham and Joplings in Sunderland, are poised to close down all 19 of the group’s stores.
Earlier this month administrator MCR announced that nine of the group’s stores had been earmarked for closure after Liverpool-based Vergo retail hit the buffers.
One store in Dovercourt in Norwich has already been shuttered.
Today’s announcement signals the start of the closing down procedure for all the stores but MCR said that negotioations with prospective purchasers would continue.
Independent department store chain Beales has been linked to a number of the higher profile stores such as Robbs of Hexham and Derrys in Plymouth.
Sarah Bell, partner at MCR said: “Discussions are ongoing with a number of different parties wishing to acquire part or all of the business. This process is being run in parallel with a discount sale in order to generate sufficient cash to fund the business in the short term.
“Unless a purchaser can be found for the whole business, further store closures during the coming weeks cannot be ruled out.”
MCR also confirmed that department store Lewis’s in Liverpool would close on Saturday, following a previous announcement that its landlords had not renewed its lease. 65 employees will be made redundant.
Vergo Retail employs a total of 942 staff, 341 of which have been made redundant.