Mayor pledges support for Mansfield shop workers facing axe

Toys R Us in Mansfield.
Toys R Us in Mansfield.

Council bosses have pledged to work with staff facing redundancy with the collapse of two major Mansfield retailers.

Toys R Us is to shut all 100 of its UK stores, including iat Mansfield’s St Peter’s Retail Park, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the collapsed retailer, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs.

And Mansfield’s Maplins, on the neraby Portland Retail Park, faces closure after the home electronics specialist also collapsed into administration.

Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor, said: “Mansfield District Council is disappointed to learn a large retailer has closed in our town.

“We will be working with the Department for Work and Pensions to support and signpost those affected by job loss to find alternative employment opportunities in the area.

“The authority will also be keen to work with the property owners to find an alternative tenant so that Mansfield can sustain a good retail offer for residents and visitors.”

Toys R Us appointed Moorfields Advisory to oversee an administration at the end of February, but the group said “it has not been possible to secure a sale”.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields, said: “We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business. This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline.

“It is therefore with great regret we have made the difficult decision to make a number of positions redundant at the company’s head office in Maidenhead and proceed with a controlled store closure programme.”

Toys R Us is one of the nation’s biggest toy retailers, employing more than 3,000 across 100 stores in the UK.

Up to 980 jobs are being axed at New Look – which has a store on West Gate, Mansfield – under proposals to shut 60 stores and slash rent on nearly 400 shops as part of a rescue plan.

New Look said it was looking to close nearly 10 per cent of its 593-strong UK store estate, with a further six sites that are sub-let also due to shut as it pushes ahead with a company voluntary arrangement.

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman, said: “Given our challenged trading performance and over-rented UK store estate, we are having to take tough but necessary actions to reduce our fixed cost base and restore long-term profitability.”

New Look said all stores will remain open as normal until creditors vote on the CVA proposal later this month.