Around 100 TJ Hughes employees have been made redundant today after a shock announcement that the retailer’s distribution centre in Liverpool is to close.
The decision has been made by the administrators for the failed business, with staff being informed in a meeting early this afternoon that they were being made redundant with immediate effect.
TJ Hughes fell into administration last month and at the time Ernst & Young, the appointed administrators, claimed that it would be business as usual whilst a buyer was sought.
Ernst & Young claimed in early July that around 30 separate parties were interested in acquiring the business but admitted that it had employed retail consultants GA Europe to advise on and assist with offloading stock in TJ Hughes’ stores.
Adequate consultation with staff members, required by law, had not been conducted ahead of today’s decision according to The Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers (Usdaw), which claims employees were given no warning.
John Gorle, Usdaw National Officer, said: “Our members are understandably shocked and devastated by the news and I’m extremely angry at the way this has been handled by the administrators.
“Staff received absolutely no notice of their redundancy and their union were informed by a telephone call from the administrators.”
TJ Hughes has 57 stores across the UK and employs over 4,000 people and Gorle predicts that these latest development put the future of the historic retail chain in doubt.
“Alarm bells will certainly be ringing at the company’s remaining stores and head office and I am seeking urgent talks with the administrators to ascertain their true intentions for the rest of the business,” he added.