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Around 1,500 jobs are at risk as Poundworld becomes latest high-street name to struggle

PUBLISHED: 14:13 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:58 26 April 2018

Customers queuing for Poundworld in Ipswich when it first opened. Picture: Archant.

Customers queuing for Poundworld in Ipswich when it first opened. Picture: Archant.

Archant

Around a third of Poundworld’s stores could be shut under a restructuring plan which would put more than 1,500 jobs at risk.

The discount retailer is considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an insolvency procedure which would allow it to slash its rents and close outlets.

The plans suggest that Poundworld could close 100 of its 355 stores in the UK, but has not revealed which locations could be at risk. In East Anglia, it has shops in Ipswich’s Tavern Street, Norwich Castle Mall, King’s Lynn’s Vancouver Centre, Cromwell Retail Park in Wisbech and George Yard shopping centre in Braintree.

Rising costs and a squeeze on consumer spending has forced several household names to pursue CVAs this year, including New Look, Byron, Prezzo and Carpetright.

Poundworld, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is expected to announce the terms of the CVA next month.

Landlords will then vote on whether to approve the proposal. All of the major CVAs proposed this year have been rubber-stamped by landlords.

READ MORE: Calls for support on the high street as store openings plummet

TPG Capital also owns restaurant chain Prezzo, which recently secured the backing of creditors for a CVA. The plan will allow the Italian-themed chain to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions.

A total of 94 of Prezzo’s 300 outlets will close, with around 500 jobs understood to be in the firing line, although many staff will be redeployed at other restaurants. The CVA proposal was backed by 88% of the creditors.

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