Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 11th June 2018
The challenging environment for retailers in the UK has claimed its latest victim in the form of Poundworld, the high street seller of low-cost everyday items.
As many as 5,100 jobs are thought to be at risk after the owners of the business called in administrators and efforts to rescue and restructure its operations failed to take hold.
Poundworld’s financial difficulties have been well known for some time with its owner TGP Capital having been in discussions with Deloitte recently regarding the possibility of executing a restructuring effort that did not involve entering the business into administration.
However, those efforts have proven to be in vain with Deloitte now officially appointed as Poundworld’s administrators.
There remains some optimism that elements of the company’s UK operations will be successfully sold to new owners but the future for its thousands of employees is currently very uncertain.
Poundworld’s newly-appointed administrators have said that the business’ financial problems were linked to high levels of inflation, weakened consumer confidence, falling footfall at high street outlets and heightened competition from rival low-cost retail operators.
“The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business,” one of Deloitte’s joint administrators, Clare Boardman, said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, this has not been possible. We still believe a buyer can be found for the business or at least part of it and we are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen.”
A spokesperson for TGP Capital said: “Despite investing resources to strengthen the business, the decline in UK retail and changing consumer behaviour affected Poundworld significantly.”
There are a total of 355 Poundworld stores located in towns and cities across the UK.
A number of other well-established and widely known high street retailers have been forced into administration already this year, with the electricals retailer Maplin and Toys R Us having both collapsed into insolvency within hours of each other in late February.
In recent days, the department store chain House of Fraser revealed that its ongoing financial difficulties had led its bosses to cut thousands of jobs and close 31 of its 59 shops.