TJ Hughes set to enter administration

The department store has given notice that it intends to appoint an administrator over the next ten days.
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The news comes after a number of High Street retailers have hit difficulties and called in administrators, including Jane Norman, Habitat and Oddbins.

TJ Hughes was founded in Liverpool in 1912 and has 57 stores across the UK, employing a total of 4,000 staff. In March, the group was bought out by its management team, Endless, following reports that it had been hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance due to a difficult trading period.

In the year to January 31st, the retailer lost more than £10 million and was on the brink of collapse when Endless acquired it for a 'nominal amount'.

The retailer suffered poor trading in recent weeks and failed to raise the £30 million it needed to survive until autumn, according to reports.

Accountancy firm Ernst & Young is believed to be gearing up to take control of the company in the next few days.

There has also been speculation that the company could be sold back to its current owners in a 'pre-pack' deal, which would allow the company to scrap much of its debt and ditch some of the worst-performing stores.

Speaking to Sky News, Endless managing partner, Gary Wilson, said the firm was struggling after a 19 per cent like-for-like drop in sales for the last three months, and supplier nervousness after the firm's credit insurance was withdrawn.

He said the firm's rents and staff wages were paid up until this week, "but the future remains uncertain".

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