Sports chain closure costs 18 jobs
THE Exeter branch of JJB Sports is among 133 stores to be closed after the company went into administration.
Eighteen staff at the High Street shop were among 2,200 people across the country made redundant.
The blow came when administrators from KPMG were appointed to struggling JJB Sports today, a week after the company's shares were suspended.
They swiftly completed a deal to sell part of the business to Sports Direct International.
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But although the 20 stores that were bought by Sports Direct secured around 550 jobs, the Exeter branch was not among them.
A total of 167 employees, including one person at the Exeter store, have been retained to assist the administrators in the short term.
Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: "Successive attempts to restructure the business, both financially and operationally, have not been enough to prevent the company falling into administration. Unfortunately a buyer could only be found for 20 stores on a going-concern basis.
"All staff made redundant as a result of store closures have had their arrears of wages and holiday entitlements paid in full.
"Our team of employment specialists will be supporting staff on completing redundancy forms and putting them in touch with job seeker services. We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests."
The administrators have set up a 24-hour helpline for employees on 0845 3022538.