About 80 jobs at risk at King’s Lynn logistics centre as fashion firm Jaeger goes into administration
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Around 80 jobs are thought to be at risk at a logistics centre in King's Lynn because of the collapse of the national fashion retailer Jaeger.
Nick Daubney, former leader of West Norfolk Borough Council and its current portfolio holder for economic development, said it was 'particularly disappointing' to hear yesterday that the firm had gone into administration.
Across the country more than 700 jobs are at risk – including at the company's King's Lynn logistics centre, which is thought to employ about 80 people.
Mr Daubney said: 'It is clearly disappointing, as King's Lynn had played a central role in its efforts with developing the online side of the business because of the efforts the staff had been making there.
'There's no doubt that retail is changing and the public's interaction with retail is changing. As a population we're spending as much as ever but we're dramatically changing in the way we're shopping.
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'I know the people who work in King's Lynn have made great, great efforts to keep everything as a viable service, so it's particularly disappointing. It would be a lot of jobs.'
He said there could be little comfort for those whose jobs may be affected at this time - but said the economy and labour market in the town is 'flexible and resilient' enough to bounce back.
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He also believes other jobs will become available as other companies in the town continue to grow.
AlixPartners have been appointed to oversee the administration process after failed attempts by the company's private equity owner, Better Capital, to sell the struggling business.
It is understood that the business will continue to trade as normal and shops will remain open in the short-term.
Jaeger has 46 stores and 63 concessions, including one at Jarrold in Norwich.
It is expected that most of Jaeger's stores will close, although the brand name may survive.
The distribution warehouse in King's Lynn was bought by Breckland District Council in 2013, a move which angered taxpayer groups.
William Nunn, leader of Breckland District Council, said he was 'not overly concerned' about the future of the warehouse.
'I know we are not at the moment in any rent arrears with them,' he said. 'Obviously we will now be speaking to the adminsitrators to see if it will now be taken on, if anyone will buy the business or whether we put it up for let to another business. 'It is a phenomenal return we have been getting on that building. It is always disappointing if any company goes into receivership, and we as a council never want to see that happen.
'What it could mean is we end up with a building that is vacant. We have a fairly regular turnover of commercial tenants and about 220 different industrial units across both our district and Norfolk. 'At this stage I am not overly concerned. The country is in a buoyant position and we should find another tenant.'