Ipswich: JJB staff in Ipswich made redundant as administrators axe store

EIGHTEEN workers at the town’s branch of JJB Sports were among nearly 2,200 employees made redundant at the ailing retail chain after it collapsed in administration.

Their store on the Ransomes Europark was among 133 JJB outlets which were closed by the administrators from accountancy firm KPMG with immediate effect.

Around 550 jobs have saved with the sale of 20 JJB stores elsewhere in the country to rival Sports Direct International, controlled by Newcastle United FC owner Mike Ashley.

But the administrators said no buyers could been found for the remaining branches, and a total of 2,193 employees had been made redundant.

A further 167 employees have been retained in the short term to assist the administrators at the stores being closed.

The so-called “pre-pack” deal between KPMG and Sports Direct was announced within hours of the administrators being formally appointed, although the move had been widely expected since JJB put itself up for sale last month after failing to persuade shareholders to stump up further funding.

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.

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“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.”

Sports World is paying �23.8million for the 20 stores it is buying, plus the JJB brand and website, the company’s stock and the Slazenger golf brand. However, the JJB name will disappear from the high street.