A chain of Sony electronics stores have closed their doors across the West Midlands in the latest blow to the region’s High Street.
Shops in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Kidderminster, Stafford and Shrewsbury have all ceased trading following a downturn in sales, and parent group Victor Electronics has gone into liquidation.
The closures have led to 30 staff being laid off while customers who ordered goods shortly before the collapse are waiting for compensation.
One customer, Mrs Marie Kibler, aged 65, of Sutton Coldfield, said she had ordered a 55 inch TV for £1,450 from the chain’s Solihull store shortly before the firm ceased trading.
“I have written a letter to Sony but have heard nothing back from them. I do not want to lose that amount of money.
“I bought it on the day that they went into insolvency and they were still trading – it is pretty bad, they should not be allowed to get away with it.
“The people working at the company were the last to find out apparently and I was told that they had not got their wages.”
Liquidator Bijal Shah of insolvency practitioners Re10, said: “This is unfortunately another current retail casualty but it is the way that the High Street is going sadly.
“The company has gone into liquidation and all the stores have ceased trading.
“The firm’s business had dropped off a cliff and their turnover was very poor, the rent and rates were very high and they couldn’t survive in those circumstances.
“But Sony are being very good about it and and are looking at each customer case on their merits.”
He said a total of eight stores had closed, with six in the West Midlands.
The demise of Victor Electronics, which has been trading for more than 25 years, is the latest High Street casualty in 2013 following other insolvencies at chains including HMV, Blockbuster, Jessops and Republic.