Norwich’s troubled Schoolwear Centre saved from permanent closure

The Schoolwear Centre in Ber Street, Norwich

The Schoolwear Centre in Ber Street, Norwich - Credit: Archant

A troubled school uniform shop in Norwich has been saved from permanent closure after a family-run firm stepped in.

The Schoolwear Centre, on Ber Street, closed on Monday after difficulties last summer saw orders delayed.

It was thought that six jobs would be lost and the 65 schools it supplies would need to find another provider.

But Stevensons, which started in Hertfordshire in 1925, has stepped in to take over the business - with hopes it could reopen as soon as Saturday.

The centre's employees have been offered their jobs back and the firm says it hopes the 65 schools will keep their business with Stevensons.

John Stevenson, joint managing director, said: 'This is a great opportunity for us to extend our business into the heart of Norfolk and to secure the jobs of the existing experienced staff that worked in the store.

'We are a family-run firm that prides itself on the personal service that we offer to our customers and are looking forward to the challenge of winning over the parents of the existing local schools by providing an improved, efficient and friendly service.'

Stevensons already runs five high street uniform shops in Bournemouth, Oxford, Reading, Twickenham and St Albans, along with 15 on-campus school shops and more than 300 online shops for schools around the country.

The Schoolwear Centre's troubles last summer - which they said was caused by delays from suppliers - saw parents waiting months for orders to arrive in store.Lee Green, who was due to handle the liquidation of the business at accountants Larking Gowen, said at the time the closure was announced that the after-effects of summer and a seasonal downturn 'exacerbated' the company's financial problems.

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I'm a parent - how does this affect me?

Parents who placed orders with the Schoolwear Centre will be able to collect those items, providing the orders were fulfilled and the goods are now at the premises.

Any paid orders placed where items are yet to be fulfilled will be honoured if the relevant school agrees to keep its business with Stevensons.

Anyone owed money by the company should contact Anne-Marie Harding at Larking Gowen on 01603 624181.

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