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Shop chain fights to beat national crisis

PUBLISHED: 16:04 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 23 August 2010

STORES continue to close as a national textile company is restructured with the loss of hundreds of jobs. This week the Roseby s store, in New Road, Gravesend, held a closing down sale as administrators seek to find a buyer for the stricken outlet. Boss

STORES continue to close as a national textile company is restructured with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

This week the Roseby's store, in New Road, Gravesend, held a closing down sale as administrators seek to find a buyer for the stricken outlet.

Bosses filled for administration on Friday, September 26, affecting a total of 80 jobs across Kent and 2,000 staff nationally.

This week a spokesperson for a KPMG, the company handling the crisis, said the sale in Gravesend did not mean the store was definitely to close.

She said: "Most stores have closing down notices up so that customers are aware the situation and the possibility of closure.

"The situation is changing every day but the Gravesend store is not scheduled for closure at this present time. This could change in the future but the stores in Gravesend, Dartford, Bexleyheath and Orpington are currently trading."

Branches affected include stores on High Street, Dartford, High Street, Orpington, Bellegrove Road, Welling, and the Broadway, Bexleyheath.

Roseby's is one of the country's leading curtains and home furnishings retailers.

In the year up until March 31 the company made losses of £6 million and owes trade creditors about £11.7 million and inter-company creditors £19 million.

At the beginning of October administrators confirmed they had 45 expr_ssions of interest in the business, but closed 10 stores resulting in 60 job losses. It followed 32 redundancies at head office days earlier.

Last week a further 31 stores were closed, making 186 people redundant and a distribution centre axed with 87 job cuts. Another 32 shops were axed with 173 redundancies made last Friday.

Howard Smith, joint administrator for KPMG, said: "We have now closed a total of 73 of the poorer performing stores, in order to maximise the chance of a going concern sale.

"The deadline for indicative offers expired last Friday and we have received offers from a number of interested parties that relate to a going concern sale. We are hopeful of issuing a sale contract shortly and the business will continue to trade during that process."

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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