Fears for department store's future
By Craig RobinsonTHE future of the ailing Allders department store chain, which has a key site in a Suffolk shopping centre, remained unclear last night.
By Craig Robinson
THE future of the ailing Allders department store chain, which has a key site in a Suffolk shopping centre, remained unclear last night.
The fate of the chain hangs in the balance following reports the company will be put into receivership this week.
It runs the flagship Allders store in the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich.
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Colin Roberts, centre manager of the Buttermarket centre, said yesterday he was hoping there would be a positive outcome.
He added: “Unfortunately we don't know anything more than anyone else. Obviously the company was put up for sale just before Christmas and there have been a number of interested parties.
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“It is very much watch this space. It's very sad for the staff because they are unsure what is happening and it is rather unsettling.
“If it was to close then it would be a blow, not just to the town, but also to the whole country because it is a national store.
“At the moment, however, it's still open for trading and it's business as usual as far as we are concerned. Hopefully there will be a good outcome.”
A spokesman for Allders refused to comment, saying it was unable to issue a statement at the present time and added any details would be announced soon.
The fears of closure follow reports in national newspapers that the department store, run by former Debenhams and BHS chief executive Terry Green, will be put into receivership this week.
Allders was bought two years ago for £160million by Scarlett Retail, a consortium comprising property company Minerva, investment bank Lehman Brothers and members of the retailer's management.
Scarlett Retail put Allders up for sale again in December last year, when Mr Green and Phil Cox, Allders' commercial director, who own 20% of the company between them, failed to raise the money to buy it.
Earlier this month it was announced that the store had an operating loss of £66.8m following an organisational shake-up.