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Norwich department store to close

PUBLISHED: 08:39 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:24 01 July 2010

The former Co-op store Norwich is one of nine stores set to close after its owners, Liverpool-based Vergo Retail, went into administration.

The former Co-op store Norwich is one of nine stores set to close after its owners, Liverpool-based Vergo Retail, went into administration.

Kate Scotter

The former Co-op store Norwich is one of nine stores set to close after its owners, Liverpool-based Vergo Retail, went into administration.

The former Co-op store Norwich is one of nine stores set to close after its owners, Liverpool-based Vergo Retail, went into administration.

The department store in St Stephen's Street has been part of Norwich's high street for more than 100 years.

All of the nine stores are expected to close within the next four weeks with the loss of 335 jobs although a buyer is still being sought.

Sarah Bell, partner at insolvency firm MCR, which was appointed administrator of Vergo last Friday, said the nine stores were deemed to be “loss-making”.

She said: “Following a financial review of the business it was apparent it could not continue to trade in the short term without implementing immediate cost saving measures.

“Regrettably, this means that 335 positions have been made redundant with effect from today. There is an opportunity for interested parties to come forward and rescue the remaining business as a going concern.”

Established in 2007, Vergo employs 942 across about 20 outlets including department stores trading under brands including Robbs of Hexham Joplings of Sunderland and Derry's of Plymouth.

In addition to the Norwich store, which last year employed about 60 and dates back to 1887, stores in Stowmarket and Colchester are set to close.

It is believed the former Co-op department store at Market Place, Yarmouth, which was also taken over by Vergo last summer, has not been affected.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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