Ipswich: JJB store to close, 30 jobs in jeopardy

IPSWICH: A major sportswear shop in the town centre is to close next month with the loss of up to 30 jobs, it emerged today.

Troubled JJB Sports, which is currently seeking to raise more than �30million from its shareholders, is closing its store in Carr Street when its lease on the unit expires at the end of March.

Recent reports have suggested that JJB could be about to close between 50 and 100 stores as part of deal with its banks.

But a spokesman for the company said the Ipswich closure was a “one-off”, linked solely to the expiry of the lease.

A total of 30 people are currently employed at the store.

The spokesman said that every effort would be made to redeploy the staff affected, either at its out-of-town store on the Euro Retail Park, which will continue trading, or at branches in other nearby towns.

The Wigan-based retailer recently revealed that a major promotional drive had failed to deliver results, with sales falling 11.1 per cent between December 20 and January 23 after a similarly dismal performance in the run-up to Christmas.

Most Read

It is currently seeking to raise �31.5m from its major shareholders in an attempt to shore up its finances, and is in talks with its banks after persuading Bank of Scotland to waive covenants (conditions attached to its borrowings) due last month and in April.

JJB is also currently the subject of a takeover approach from rival JD Sports Fashion which, subject to takeover clearance, could create a 700-store sportswear retail giant.

However, in announcing talks last month, JD warned there could be no certainty that any deal would be sealed.