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Paul Simon to close four Kent stores at Gillingham, Margate, Sittingbourne and Strood as administrators try to sell business

By Chris Price

Troubled home furnishing retailer Paul Simon is to close four of its seven Kent stores within three weeks - at a cost of 31 jobs.

The firm is closing 17 loss-making outlets nationally, out of a total of 50, with large-discount sales due to begin shortly in each.

Redundancies are to be announced within the next three weeks, affecting eight staff at Gillingham, seven at Margate, six in Sittingbourne and 10 in Strood.

The Paul Simon store in Ashford
The Paul Simon store in Ashford

Administrators at Deloitte hope the move will enable them to sell the rest of the chain's stores – including Aylesford and Ashford – as a going concern.

The company made 28 workers redundant at is head office, warehouse and factory.

It fell into administration last week, blaming an "uncertain economic environment" and its core business being undermined by online retailers.

Deloitte's joint administrator Lee Manning said: "As part of the review of Paul Simon's financial position, we have analysed the store portfolio and identified 17 loss-making stores for closure.

"This step has been taken to enhance the prospect of securing a sale of all or part of the remaining business as a going concern.

"We have received strong support from staff at Paul Simon and the joint administrators are very grateful for their continuing commitment during this difficult period."

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