For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Collectables collapse: 150 jobs to be lost
THE collapse of a famous North-East gift and furniture chain has claimed 150 jobs and left customers in limbo.
Collectables, which grew from a barrow in the Metro- Centre, Gateshead, selling Geordie-themed novelties into a chain of 14 shops, last week became the latest victim of the High Street squeeze after bosses could not pay bills or wages.
Staff had hoped that some of the Collectables stores, including a flagship branch in Stockton, could be saved, but administrators sounded the death knell for the 27-year old firm when they announced last night that no Collectables stores, nor its online shop, would reopen and all but a handful of staff had lost their jobs.
Administrators at KPMG said: “After analysing the trading position of Collectables, the joint administrators have concluded it is not possible to continue trading at the company’s 14 stores.
“Therefore, they will not be reopening during the course of the administration of the business.
“As a consequence, most unfortunately, 150 employees have been made redundant, with a skeleton staff numbering 14 retained to assist the administrators as they continue to pursue a sale of the business and assets, while taking steps to manage an orderly wind-down.”
The Northern Echo understands that former employees of the family-run firm are owed on average one month’s salary.
Employment specialists from KPMG’s restructuring practice are helping staff in making claims for unpaid wages and notice pay from the government’s Redundancy Payments Office.
Customers with outstanding orders will be contacted directly by the administrators.
In the meantime, they can call 0191-401-3942 or write to KPMG, Quayside House, 110 Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX for more information.
The administrators are following up interest from local and national retailers who have shown interest in buying the business and its assets.
Collectables was founded by Philip Lewis, 73, a retail magnate who lost a fortune in the 1980s when his chain of North-East off licences went out of business following the Miners’ Strike.
In 1986, he launched Collectables at the then newlyopened MetroCentre in Gateshead, trading novelty items, such as toys, Geordie passports and marriage certificates.
His chain of shops, which became known for selling decorative items, including Lladro figurines and Royal Doulton china, had branches in Alnwick; Carlisle; Dalton Park, near Seaham, County Durham; MetroCentre; Newcastle; North Shields, Castleford, West Yorkshire and Stockton, which included the Beds Express, Big Cane and Mandale Furniture showrooms.
Comments are closed on this article.