Head office staff at collapsed Birmingham retailer Floors-2-Go were given just five minutes’ notice of redundancy – and handed unsigned letters in sealed envelopes with no pay-offs.
Six workers at the Newtown base of the national chain were called to the boardroom and informed of their fate without any previous consultation over proposed job losses. Within minutes they were out of the door.
Meanwhile, colleagues at Redditch were shocked to find couriers suddenly turning up to start stripping out stock from the shelves with no advance warning that the store was to close.
The Birmingham retailer collapsed on Wednesday with the closure of 53 stores and 192 job losses. A total of 35 remain trading and 162 jobs safeguarded following a sale of part of the group to third party owners Nixon and Hope Ltd.
A member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “There were seven of us called up to the boardroom, sat down and told we were being made redundant with immediate effect.
“The legal director said trading was not what it was and we have envelopes here for you. There was no money in the envelope, it was just a letter from the holding company Floor My Home Ltd which said I was being made redundant. They didn’t even bother to sign it.
“Most of us had 10 minutes to clear our desks and that was it. It was just a case of thanks and goodbye.
“There was no 30-day consultation, it was just redundancy with immediate effect.”
Administrators Senate Recovery have blamed the demise of Floors-2-Go on poor sales in recent months in the wake of the economic downturn.
Ian Pankhurst, of Senate Recovery, said 20 redundancies had been made at the Newtown base.
Its shops in Bilston, Oldbury and Great Barr in the West Midlands were not trading on Wednesday and stock had been cleared from the Bilston store.
Jim Hodkinson, who joined as chairman in January, left Floors-2-Go in May, while other directors, Michael Coleman and Parjinder Sangha, have left.
In January, Floors-2-Go unveiled a £3.25 million injection from the investment vehicle Hotbed which the retailer planned to put towards opening 60 new shops.
The company began as a family business in Birmingham in 1999. It floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2004, evolving from a cash and carry-type warehouse to retail superstores in prime locations. It was bought for £52.4 million in December 2006 by private equity firm Alchemy Partners.
It fell into administration in 2008. The original founders of the chain, the Hodges family, then bought it back in 2009.