Patisserie Valerie Wigan staff turn up to work to find branch has been closed

Staff at the Wigan branch of a nationwide cafe chain have turned up to work this morning to find themselves out of a job, with no prior warning.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 2:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 3:18 pm
A sign was put outside the Wigan branch

Employees Patisserie Valerie were shocked to find the Grand Arcade store closed this morning.

Later a sign was put up outside saying that the business has folded and that the store would not be reopening.

Yesterday, Patisserie Valerie bosses revealed that the company has collapsed into administration, putting more than 3,000 jobs at risk.

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The firm said discussions with its lenders HSBC and Barclays to extend a standstill agreement on its debts had failed, leaving it with no option but to appoint KPMG as administrator.

KPMG said it would continue to trade 121 out of 200 stores, but added that 70 cafes and concessions would close over the next few days, resulting in a "significant number" of redundancies.

The outlet, located inside Debenhams in Wigan town centre, is one of the first to be hit by the shock closure.

A note left on the door this morning reads: “Customer notice: We regret to inform you that Patisserie Holdings has gone into administration and this unit is now closed...

“If you have ordered a product that was due to be collected in this store, it will now be delivered to the closest store available...”

The cake firm's parent company Patisserie Holdings has been dealing with the fallout of an accounting fraud since October.

It said on Tuesday evening that the extent of fraud meant it was unable to renew its bank loans and did not have sufficient funding to continue trading.

Chairman Luke Johnson has extended an unsecured, interest-free loan to help ensure that the January wages are paid to all staff working in the ongoing business, the company added.

The loan will also assist the administrators in trading as many profitable stores as possible while a sale process is undertaken.

John Sanson, general manager of the Grand Arcade, said that the latest loss is a “real shame” but “not a surprise”.

“I’m aware that they have gone into administration,” he said. “Regrettably the Wigan concession was one of the many that have closed.

“Patisserie Valerie is a sub-tenant of Debenhams, so I haven’t had direct dealings with it.

“The way that retail is going at the moment, it’s not surprising that this has happened. I know they went through a lot of problems before Christmas.

“It is a real shame.”