Further blow to local jobs as JJB Sports closes

October 9, 2012

By Christine Keighery

Troubled retailer, JJB Sports, announced last week that it had sold twenty of its stores out of administration to former competitor, Sports Direct, with only three stores remaining open in Northern Ireland.

Sadly, the Newry store was not one of those remaining three and joins ten other JJB Sports which closed last week.  In total, more than 150 jobs will be lost throughout the province as a result of the closures.  Thirteen staff at the Newry site have lost their jobs due to the closure.

With closures taking immediate effect following the announcement, administrators, KPMG, said staff being made redundant were paid all wages and entitlements due.

In addition to the Newry store, other shops closed are those in Ballymena, Bangor, Belfast, Coleraine, Craigavon, Londonderry, and Newtownards

JJB is the latest in a long line of retailers to go bust since the beginning of the recession, which has had a devastating effect on the high street.   Recent reports found Newry’s vacant shops rate had doubled since last year

Following last Monday’s announcement, MLA Mickey Brady expressed regret at the JJB closure in Newry and the resultant loss of 13 jobs.

Mr Brady said,

“The announcement of the closure of JJB Sports shop in Newry this evening will come as a major blow to the community especially at this time of year when Christmas is fast approaching.

“My thoughts are with the workers and their families. I would like to assure workers affected by the closure that the local Sinn Féin office is open to offer any advice at this difficult time.”