Uncertain future for South Yorkshire Poundworld staff as administrators reportedly called in

Poundworld in Dartford faces an uncertain future

Poundworld in Dartford faces an uncertain future

British discount retailer Poundworld has gone into administration, putting 5,100 jobs at risk and becoming the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in the United Kingdom retail sector.

The budget retailer was in talks with private equity firm R Capital over the weekend, but is now calling in administrators at Deloitte after talks broke down.

Clare Boardman, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: "The retail trading environment in the United Kingdom remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business".

The company, which is owned by TPG Capital, has 335 stores including more than 40 in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The appointment of Deloitte as administrators leaves the future of five stores in the county hanging in the balance.

"Unfortunately, this has not been possible".

Poundworld's losses widened in 2016-17 to £17.1 million, from £5.4m of losses the year before.The retailer was hit with a £5.7 million charge for onerous leases, a provision retailers make when the cost of a lease is no longer covered by the income of the store.

There have also been casualties among independent businesses, including Hitchin town centre's Hawkins and Kenmore Interiors department stores.

Deloitte, which has been co-ordinating efforts to find a solvent deal for the business, is expected to oversee the administration of Poundworld. "We thank all employees for their support at this hard time".

There remains some optimism that a proportion of the chain's 5,300 staff will avoid losing their jobs if buyers can be found for parts of Poundworld's business during the administration process.

A TPG spokesperson said it was a "difficult decision for every party involved".

"We invested in Poundworld because of our belief in how the company serves its customers and the strength of its employees", he added.

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