Store Twenty One reopens in Sleaford just weeks after closure

Open for business again - The former Store Twenty One shop in Sleaford. EMN-170914-170816001
Open for business again - The former Store Twenty One shop in Sleaford. EMN-170914-170816001

Staff at Store Twenty One in Sleaford are delighted to have found re-employment just weeks after the troubled discount clothing and homeware chain was forced to close.

The retailer had been teetering on the brink of collapse for weeks after it failed to raise extra cash from lenders to keep it afloat in time for a deadline set by HM Revenue and Customs, meaning 122 shops, including the store in Southgate, Sleaford, and 900 staff were laid off.

The chain, owned by Grabal Alok (UK) Limited, was wound up in the High Court early in July and Simon Bonney, Paul Zalkin and Carl Jackson partners in corporate recovery firm Quantuma were appointed as joint liquidators.

But a dramatic turn around saw the Sleaford store re-open on Thursday last week after the prime high street location was snapped up by a new investor.

A store spokesman told the Standard today (Thursday): “We have a new investor in the store, a lady starting up her own business selling ladies’ and men’s fashion and home ware. It will be trading under another name, although it still has the old sign above the shop at the moment. It is a local business and some staff from the old store have been re-employed and we are interviewing for more.”

She said it had been an uncertain time for staff in the run-up to the closure but said they were happy to have a job again.

She added that the new owner had rapid expansion plans with the help of major financial backing: “We are expecting more stock in shortly. The new owner is planning to build up her business, opening more stores.”

The Southgate premises had been briefly on the market with commercial agents Banks Long and Co of Lincoln asking for an annual rent of £39,000.