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Paul Simon to close Aylesford and Orpington stores as administrators Deloitte announce all remaining outlets to shut, costing 209 jobs

By Chris Price

Home furnishings retailer Paul Simon has announced the closure of its remaining 22 stores, including two in Kent, costing 209 jobs.

Stores in Aylesford and Orpington will shut for good over the next three weeks, leaving 22 people out of work.

The troubled chain had already closed stores in Ashford, Gillingham, Margate, Sittingbourne and Strood, at a loss of 41 jobs.

The company fell into administration in April, putting 50 stores and 571 jobs at risk.

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

Earlier this month, administrators Deloitte were able to sell seven stores to Lewis’s Home Retail, preserving 73 jobs.

They were unable to find a buyer for the remaining outlets as the chain struggled to compete with online retailers and the continuing “uncertain economic environment”.

Deloitte partner and lead administrator Lee Manning said: “We very much regret that a buyer for the remaining stores as a going concern could not be found.

“We will close stores over the coming weeks, selling the remaining unsold stock in these stores in clearance sales.

“The business cannot trade indefinitely without the prospect of a buyer.”

He added: “The sector in which Paul Simon operates remains a challenging market.

“Loss-making stores with excessive rents, a complicated delivery model for relatively modest transaction sizes and financing problems combined to reduce the ongoing viability of the enterprise.

“This ultimately led to the appointment of administrators and restricted the level of interest from potential purchasers.”

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