Another blow for the city's retail sector after collapse of 180-year-old firm
The High Street spending squeeze looks set to claim over 50 more retail jobs across the West Midlands with nine Osbornes stationers’ stores facing closure.
Workers across the region are set to be caught up in New Year jobs misery with the likely shutdown of the stores at the 180-year-old stationery firm, which has its roots in Birmingham city centre.
Outlets in Bearwood, Cotteridge, Erdington, Great Barr, Kings Heath, Sheldon, Leamington, Shirley and Worcester have all announced closing down sales as the hunt for a buyer continues following its collapse into administration.
It is understood that the Harborne store could yet be saved while talks go on with an unnamed potential purchaser. The firm’s Solihull shop had already closed in the run-up to Christmas.
A total of 140 jobs were plunged into jeopardy in early December when Hay Mills-based Osbornes – founded as a printing business in Birmingham city centre in 1832 – went under.
Steven Stokes, partner at administrators FRP Advisory, said: “We received a positive level of initial interest in the more profitable parts of the business which has resulted in sales talks reaching an advanced stage for new owners to take over three core Osborne stores.
“With the exception of three store closures we have continued to trade the business across the rest of the store network over the Christmas and New Year period to ensure returns to Osborne’s creditors are maximised; however, unfortunately further closures are inevitable in the New Year.
"I appreciate this is an extremely difficult time for the company’s staff, however, their ongoing assistance and support during the process has been appreciated.”