Rapid store closure causes job losses

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Rapid retailer in Renshaw Street.

Rapid retailer in Liverpool

Liverpool’s family-run hardware retailer Rapid has been forced to cease trading after going into administration, leaving over 100 people without jobs.

Staff, who have been working for the company unpaid, finally received a letter on Tuesday from the administrators, Duff & Phelps, detailing the closure of the company and the extent of redundancies.

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told JMU Journalism: “It’s a real shame for everybody involved, particularly the staff who’ve lost out on a lot of money which they have worked for.

“There’s a feeling that from the very top down to the bottom everybody within the company has worked to ensure its survival – lots of sacrifices have been made the last few months – but it’s totally out of their hands now.

“The whole situation has been compounded by the attitude of the administrators.

“They’ve pretty much left staff in the dark and really disregarded the welfare of the employees.”

The administrators have been accused of saying that staff would not receive any owed money or paid redundancy if they did not turn up to work, despite no guarantee of being paid for their services, wages and salaries.

He continued: “This was discussed with the company’s employees in meetings last week whilst discussions were ongoing.”

However, the joint administrators have now written to all employees to confirm that the store will not be re-opening. They said all employees have been made redundant with effect from 8 February 2013.

Rapid customers were informed of the closure

Rapid customers were informed of the closure

Another employee, who also wished to remain anonymous, told JMU Journalism: “It’s a horrible situation. The uncertainty is the worst thing as we’re totally out of the loop.

“It’s sad for everyone here, especially because as far as anyone can tell we’ve come off the back of a successful couple of months.”

Lisa Hilton, a Rapid customer, believes it could have been the change in location of the store and downsizing in 2012.

Lisa said: “When it was on Renshaw Street it was easier to get your paint or get your carpets and put them in your car as there was parking outside. But now, how would you carry it out of the shop?

“It’s just sad, as it was an iconic store and I just hope they can come to some sort of solution.”

John Weter, a Liverpool resident, said: “I’m sorry to see it go, but I’m more sorry to see people are going to lose their jobs.”

Philip Duffy, Joint Administrator, told JMU Journalism: “The financial position of the company is such that it can no longer continue to trade as there is insufficient stock to generate sales with which to meet ongoing trading liabilities, including employee wages and salaries.”

He continued: “This was discussed with the company’s employees in meetings last week whilst discussions were on-going, however the Joint Administrators have now written to all employees to confirm that the store will not be re-opening and as such all employees have been made redundant with effect from 8 February 2013.”

The store closes trading after being run for 42 years by managing director Martin Doherty and his family.

Additional reporting by Emma Kemmery

About Joe Barnes, JMU Journalism