A SPORTS superstore has closed down suddenly, leaving 18 members of staff without jobs.
JJB Sports, in Anchor Retail Park, off Marina Way in Hartlepool, closed its doors to shoppers yesterday and informed its workers that the company had gone into administration.
The news came without notice, according to shocked staff at the store, when administrators from finance firm KPMG arrived and told staff that the company was to fold.
It is understood that 15 part-time and full-time staff, along with three managers, have lost their jobs.
A notice has also been put in the shop window informing customers that it has closed and that the company’s affairs are now in the hands of KPMG.
Brothers Daryl and Matthew Henson, who have worked at the shop for seven years and four-and-a-half years respectively, said they were shocked and saddened at hearing they were being made jobless.
Part-time sales assistant Daryl, 24, said: “I’ve worked here part-time for seven years to pay the bills while I’m at university.
“I’m gutted, but I’m sure something will crop up.
“There were 15 part-time and full-time staff, two supervisors and a manager as well. Everyone’s shocked and gutted.”
The 24-year-old, of Throston, who is a law student at Northumbria University, added: “I’m not angry at what’s happened but it’s worrying going from having a job to not having a job in a matter of minutes. It’s a sick sort of feeling.
“They didn’t exactly give us much notice. We’ve literally gone in, emptied the lockers of seven years’ work and then left. That’s it.”
Matthew, 22, who lives with his brother and is a student at the University of Sunderland, also studying law, said: “It’s a shame after working there for years and all of a sudden it’s gone.
“We’ve all speculated at what might happen but until it actually happens you don’t know how you’ll feel.
“The shop seemed to pick up over the summer with the Olympics but it has quietened down, apparently the whole company has. Hopefully there’ll be something else around the corner for us all. It’s a sad day.”
Representatives of JJB did not wish to comment on the matter, nor did admisitrators KPMG.
The firm has 180 stores around the UK, with 4,000 employees, but has struggled in recent months in the face of stiff competition.
High Street rival Sports Direct, run by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, has been rumoured to be taking over some of the stores though any deal has not yet been confirmed.