Sports shop saved

Scene of suspected incident outside the JJB shop, Market Street, Chorley

Scene of suspected incident outside the JJB shop, Market Street, Chorley

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Seven jobs have been saved at a Chorley sports store which was at risk of going into administration.

JJB Sports in Market Street was at risk of closing after it was announced administrators KPMG had been called in to deal with the ailing firm.

But the Chorley store is among 20 in the country which have been saved under a buy-out by rival firm Sports Direct.

Nationally the move has saved around 550 jobs.

JJB’s 133 other stores closed yesterday, resulting in around 2,200 redundancies, including shops in Bolton, Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster, Burnley, Accrington and Wigan.

In Blackpool 13 redundancies were made, there were 15 in Bolton, a further 15 in Lancaster, and another 15 in Preston.

In Burnley 14 people were made redundant, a further 14 in Accrington and the worst hit in the area was Wigan, where 27 jobs have been lost.

News of Chorley’s store being saved has been welcomed by town retailers who say the move secures confidence in the town centre.

Malcolm Allen, chair of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “It is good to see a reversal in the trend we have been having of major brands pulling out of Chorley town centre.

“It is good news for the town that they have got the confidence to keep the Chorley shop open, so we must be doing something right as a town. It does help the independent traders in Market Street by not having another empty shop unit.”

Richard Fleming, UK Head of Restructuring at administrators 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.”