Bargain retailer Poundworld on the brink

The Poundworld store in Canterbury High Street

Poundworld is the latest retailer which faces disappearing from Canterbury’s retail landscape.

Some 5,300 jobs are at risk nationally including those employees working in the High Street store as the firm faces being put into administration.

In May, the discount retailer was put up for sale by its owner TPG Capital, a US private equity firm. But no buyer was found.

Today, however, the fate of the firm – which also has stores in Chatham, Strood, Dartford and Gravesend – is looking decidedly uncertain.

Mark Kleinman, the city editor at Sky News, said: “It really is a very bleak, but familiar story on the British High Street.

“Poundworld has been in talks about a rescue deal, but what I understand this morning is that the company is in last ditch rescue talks with investment firm R Capital.

“The prospects of success in those discussions are no better than 50/50. As a result Poundworld is preparing to file a legal notice to appoint administrators as of today.

“That will get it 10 days of breathing space which will buy it protection from creditors as it tries to secure a rescue deal.

“But the prospects for Poundworld do not look good. That’s 5,300 jobs potentially at risk. It’s part of that narrative we have been seeing on the High Street.”

Poundworld, which traces its roots back to West Yorkshire in the 1970s, has had a presence in Canterbury since 2014. It occupies a unit opposite the library which had been Bon Marche.

Other firms which may also disappear from Canterbury include Mothercare, Carluccio’s, Marks and Spencer and Byron Burger.

The Chimichanga restaurant at the corner of the High Street and Stour Street is the most recent business to depart the city.


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