TJ Hughes to close this weekend

ONE of the most recognisable names in Weston’s town centre will disappear this weekend, at the cost of 57 jobs.

TJ Hughes department store will shut its doors for the final time on Sunday after the company went into administration last month.

And a member of staff at the store told the Mercury that workers were among the last to know of the store’s fate, being told only after the news had been released across the country.

Despite rumours of discount clothing store Primark taking over the High Street site, the store will be empty following the closure of the branch.

TJ Hughes went into administration last month, and although a buyer was found to purchase a small number of the chain’s shops, 22 branches will close – including the Weston branch.

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Until then, stock is being sold off at discounted rates, and staff are being offered ‘appropriate support and advice’ on dealing with redundancy.

A member of staff who asked not to be named, told the Mercury: “We were the last ones to know when the company went into administration, and again we seemed to be the last ones to know about the store closing.

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“The first thing we heard about it was when it was on the news, and then the manager held a meeting and told us.

“It’s made us all fell really lost because we’re all going to be back on the dole queue again.”

Joint administrator Tom Hack said: “It is regrettable that we have had to schedule these store closures and we are extremely grateful to the employees and management at all the group’s stores, at the head office and at warehouses for their loyalty and support during what has been a very difficult and uncertain time.”

When the company’s financial troubles first came to light, rumours circulated Weston that Primark was interested in taking over the premises.

While the discount retailer would be a popular choice, the Mercury understands Primark is instead negotiating a deal for a new site in the rebuilt Dolphin Square, where it will be joined by the town’s first Debenhams.

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