More than 20 people have lost their jobs after a Blackpool jewellery wholesaler went into administration.
Family firm CL Edwards, which has its offices on Amy Johnston Way at Squires Gate, has closed its doors after more than 60 years.
Staff said, although they knew business had recently been slow, the closure came as a total shock and employees were left without redundancy pay.
Administrators Begbies Traynor of Manchester were called in to oversee the company and auctioneers Eddisons have been appointed.
One former employee said: “Most people had been with CL Edwards for 20 to 30 years and so it has been a big blow.
“We knew things had been quiet for a while and some had been expecting to go short time, but this was a terrible shock. Some people had even asked for voluntary redundancy recently but were told no.
“Some staff were kept on at the end and were promised they would get paid but they did not.
“It is a shame the business has gone but the staff were treated very unfairly at the end and were told they would have to claim any redundancy from the Government.”
Another employee said: “Most of the employees are not young, between 45 and their 60s so it won’t be easy for some to get full time work.
“It came as a shock and not to get redundancy after so many years of service was hard.”
For the year ended January 31, 2016, the company filed its annual report at Companies House showing it had £1.68m in stocks with net current assets of £1.2m.
The annual return for October 2015 showed the company officers registered as David Edwards, Janet Cross and James Edwards, Craig Skinner and Carol Wells but James Edwards’ position as a director was terminated in May 2016 and Craig Skinner’s in September that year.
No-one from the administrators was available to talk to the Gazette.