Jobs safe as Eastbourne store avoids closure

EASTBOURNE’S TJ Hughes store has been saved from closure.

The chain of 57 stores, which has a discount department store in Terminus Road, went in to administration last month but a buyer for four shops has been found. Lewis’ Home Retail Limited will take over TJ Hughes’ flagship stores in Eastbourne, Liverpool, Glasgow and Sheffield. Once the deal is completed, all employees in these stores will transfer to the rebranded Lewis’ Home Retail Limited store.

This means the 55 people, who were faced with redundancy, have this week been told their jobs are safe.

Tom Jack, joint administrator, said, “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts on this deal, which saves 442 jobs and continues the TJ Hughes legacy in Liverpool, as well as in other locations across the UK.”

With reports of high-street businesses struggling across the country, Monday’s announcement has been welcomed by the town’s politicians.

Councillor David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “This represents a hat-trick of fantastic news for the town and a terrific boost for everyone with an interest in the store.

“The Herald recently reported the exciting plans for the town centre and last week carried a front page all about the investment being made at the Crumbles Retail Park. Just a few days later we discover that a buyer has been found for this prime retail location.

“It is well known that the council is committed to the development of a vibrant and attractive retail offer across the town and this latest news helps take that aim forward.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd had been optimistic a buyer would be found and said he was delighted to hear the news.

“This is tremendous news for both Eastbourne and the employees of our store,” said Mr Lloyd.

“I spoke with the general manager of what has been TJ Hughes in Terminus Road, John Wishman, as soon I heard. He was obviously delighted. I told him it was a tribute to his leadership and the quality of his staff that the Eastbourne Store was seen for what it is: a strong going concern. Again, we continue to buck the economic trend in Eastbourne.”

The joint administrators continue to seek a sale of the company’s remaining business and assets as a going concern.

Closing down sales will continue in all TJ Hughes stores.