Shop jobs saved by firm’s takeover

Bonmarche staff Laura Burdiss (left) and June Morrell celebrate the news that the store is remaining open.
Bonmarche staff Laura Burdiss (left) and June Morrell celebrate the news that the store is remaining open.

STAFF at a Hartlepool store are celebrating after learning their jobs are safe.

Nine workers at Bonmarché, based in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, were delighted to hear that their store, and their jobs, have been saved after the store was initially earmarked for closure when the firm’s group fell into financial difficulties.

It was rescued after the acquisition of Bonmarché – a store aimed at women over 50 – by Sun European Partners.

Bonmarché Hartlepool is now one of around 275 UK stores to remain open under the new owners.

Shirley Lloyd, assistant manager at the store, said her colleagues are all delighted after their jobs were saved.

She said: “It has been a very stressful time, more so for some of the staff because they’re single parents or whatever.

“We found out the shop was going to be saved after some talks last month and we were delighted.

“I think we were all quite shocked because we were expecting the worst and thinking that we were going to have to look for other jobs.

“We were definitely all relieved.”

She added: “It’s a lovely place to work so we’re all over the moon to be keeping our jobs. The customers are all lovely and they’ve been very supportive during this very stressful time. We’re glad we’re all still here for them.”

Store manager Alison Usher echoed Shirley’s thoughts, saying: “Staff are thrilled with the news that we are now remaining open.

“We would like to extend a special thanks to all of our customers for their support and messages of encouragement over the last few weeks.”

The news gives the shopping centre a timely boost, just a day after it was confirmed that eight jobs had been lost following the collapse of the Gamestation chain.