Retails jobs fear

JJB in Blackpool and (below) Hugh Evans and Lancashire North and West Chamber of Commerce.

JJB in Blackpool and (below) Hugh Evans and Lancashire North and West Chamber of Commerce.

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JOBS at a sports retailer are in danger of being lost as administrators were being lined up to sell the business.

JJB Sports, which employs 10 members of staff at their Church Street store, is yet to appoint administrators, 
but the sale of the company’s 180 stores is imminent.

Hugh Evans and Lancashire North and West Chamber of Commerce

Hugh Evans and Lancashire North and West Chamber of Commerce

More than 4,000 jobs are at risk across the country, but rival Sports Direct International is believed to be buying out half the company.

The store’s closure would be a blow to Blackpool’s high street as the resort falls victim to the recession once again.

Hugh Evans, policy director at Lancashire North and Western Chamber of Commerce, has called for the company to be more competitive if it is taken over.

He said: “It’s the latest in what’s becoming a long line of chains closing in the high street.

“The sports wear market is highly competitive and JJB really has been a victim of that competition.

“Sports Direct has affirmed it’s possible to make a profit in that market and JJB needs to learn lessons and apply them to their own business.”

A spokesman for JJB Sports says a decision will be made on which stores remain open once administrators are brought in.

He said: “The board has determined that any sale of the trade, assets and brands will be effected through an administration process.

“Therefore it is expected the process to commence with the appointment of administrators of the company and certain of its subsidiaries will begin, although the actual appointments are only likely to take effect just before the completion of any such sale.

“The group will therefore continue to trade through all retail outlets outside of an administration pending completion of a sale process.”

Coun Gary Coleman, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Obviously the news of JJB’s administration nationally is a worry for the local workers, especially as there is still uncertainty over what will happen with their jobs.

“It is horrible for people when national economic problems result in them being unsure of their job security, especially when they have rent to pay or families to feed.

“No final decision has been made on the future of the JJB store yet however, and we do still remain hopeful that it may stay open.”