Three stores are hit by recession

Past Times - history
Past Times - history

THE New Year has brought financial difficulty for three Wigan stores.

Furniture company Thursday’s Trading Clearance Centre in Springfield has appointed liquidators to wind up the company.

The store, which opened in July 2010, specialised in selling end-of-line or surplus stock from national furniture suppliers, at low prices.

Andrew Rosler of Ideal Corporate Solutions Limited has been appointed as liquidator. Thursday’s Preston branch is still operating.

At a meeting with liquidators on December 22, it was declared: “It has been proved to the satisfaction of this Meeting that the company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same, and accordingly that the company be wound up voluntarily.”

Two other town centre stores are also facing financial uncertainty. Retro gift store Past Times has applied to the High Court for leave to go into administration. The store is currently in its 10-day period before any administrators are possibly called in.

The national chain which is in its 25th year of trading is currently looking for new investors of its 108 shops. Past Times opened its first Wigan store in the Galleries at the beginning of December 2011 and has now closed.

Richard Spiegelberg, spokesman for Past Times’ owner Epic Private Equity, said: “KPMG has been appointed by Past Times to assist in the review of strategic options including marketing the company.

“A number of parties have expressed an interest. But we cannot comment on the Wigan store specifically.”

Lingerie store La Senza has begun a programme to close some of its 158 stores. The company which is owned by Lion Capital and employs more than 2,500 people across the country announced before Christmas that it was preparing to call in the administrators.

The chain, which was once owned by Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, has begun deciding which stores to close, and when.

KPMG has also been appointed to assist La Senza during this period.

A spokesman for La Senza said: “La Senza continues to work with KPMG to explore all options including a sale of all or part of the business to safeguard the future of the company and as many of its employees as possible.

“As part of this process and as a contingency, the company regrettably has had to commence a programme of store closures to enable resources to be focused on the best performing stores in the portfolio.

“No decision has been taken as to when any stores will close but the company can confirm that it will continue to trade as normal in all stores in the meantime.

“The company is still not in administration and administrators have not been appointed.”