Around 2,200 staff at JJB Sports were made redundant today after administrators closed 133 stores - including the one at Middlebrook - and agreed to sell 20 remaining outlets to Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International.
The Sports World parent bought the stores, the brand and its website for £23.8 million in a deal that will protect 550 jobs in the UK, including its warehouse.
But the agreement is a worse-than-expected outcome for JJB staff as Sports Direct was reportedly hoping to safeguard up to 1,500 jobs and buy up to 60 stores. The Middlebrook one will close.
David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner at KPMG, who led the sales process, said the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business was too much risk for most interested parties.
The saved stores are in Airdrie, Antrim, Brighton, Chorley, Cumbernauld, Dorchester, Dover, Elgin, Glasgow Silverburn, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, Londonderry, Oldbury, Rhyl, Rochdale, West Bromwich and Winchester.