47 jobs lost as retail group closes

FORTY-SEVEN Islanders have been made redundant after one of Jersey’s largest fashion retailers went into liquidation yesterday, with the closure of several town centre stores.

Richard Clews (left), the managing director of the Collections Group, and his lawyer, Advocate Marcus Pallot arriving at court yesterday
Richard Clews (left), the managing director of the Collections Group, and his lawyer, Advocate Marcus Pallot arriving at court yesterday

FORTY-SEVEN Islanders have been made redundant after one of Jersey’s largest fashion retailers went into liquidation yesterday, with the closure of several town centre stores.

The Collections Group, which owned SDS, the AXLE chain, Freedom and Quicksilver, among others, made the announcement to staff at a meeting last night following a Royal Court hearing yesterday, when the ‘just and equitable winding-up’ of the company was ordered.

Comments for: "47 jobs lost as retail group closes"

Alison

These shops were dated with no demand for what they sold anymore, great in the 90,s, but its 2013 and Amazon sell everything half the price. It is not about the state of retail trade itself, its about what you sell that gives you good trade.

Poller

Well the whole Island is dated but 47 unemployed is not good news and just means it will get worse. The problem in Jersey is that nobody works together. There is no true together anymore and it's too hard to bring in new products at a decent price. The staff won't money to pay their overpriced apartments and the business owner has to pay the rent for the overpriced retail unit. Even if new products were offered, Internet will be cheaper but it doesn't help your economy meaning one day all could be jobless.

the thin wallet

totaly agree.

Richard

No great loss!

concerned

47 people losing their livelihood is no great loss? hmm...

adder

as i said small shops closing is good buisness just watch and see

roombay42

Don't gloat. Your job,(if you're working and not just scrounging from La Motte St.), will also come under threat. If the local retailers go under, so do the businesses that depend on them , i.e. accountants, lawyers, banks etc.

When a shop closes its resultant effects may not be immediately obvious.

emma

In one sentence you demand he not "gloat" about the closure, in the next you demean benefit claimants as being scroungers.

Let's hope you don't lose your job and become forced to "scrounge", eh?

roombay42

After 56 years of constant working both for employers and as an employer, I don't have to worry about being employed.

In that time I only didn't work for 3 months when between jobs and then I didn't claim any benefits.

Most of those who claim benefits would find work if they weren't cushioned by our generous benefits system, i.e. if they had to.

I may have been stupid in some peoples eyes, but I feel I did the right thing by not becoming a burden on the other hard working citizens.

Amen

Well room you are certainly a hero to me!!!

... Keep Smiling.

xxx

Kermit

Another sad day for retail ! But don't worry a 5 million car park is going to solve everything apparently.

That's if we can still afford petrol and paycards.

The only shop standing will be Hammons !

nick

when people lose jobs is not a good news, I've been in that situation and i know the feeling. but on the other hand, us as shoppers we have to look for our expenses, 'cause here in Jersey the cost of life if really high. we "cut the cost" where we can! the big sharks out there they are doing the same...

James Wiley

Err no,

The government is not cutting any expenditure whatsoever, it is not even cutting the rate of increase in expenditure.

The problem is the government, they made Jersey so unattractive for tourist, so expensive to live in, have set taxes so high.

Until you properly identify the real problem, no solution will work.

Another 47 job losses (so that is income support plus the loss of all the tax income) only exacerbates the problem because it is a sure fire guarantee of 10% GST.

Andre

It is Jersey's long obsession with property inflation which has made Jersey too expensive. Having property prices racing ahead of ordinary inflation was never sustainable. Jersey only kept the property boom going for such a long period because of population growth. In boom periods, rising wages covered the cracks in this 'policy'.

But the end result was that wages, rentals and operating costs were all jacked up, making Jersey less and less competative as a place to visit and a place to operate from. Jersey has effectively priced itself out of its own market. Short term greed has killed off long term prosperity.

The boom times are long over. People's disposable income is falling. And indeed, rising housing costs are eating into that disposable income, along with all the other cost of living rises. It simply isn't sustainable. Yet many landlords tack on automatic cost of living rent increases as if it were still the 80's or 90's. That is the inherent problem for Jersey. So many years of rocketing property inflation has left some landlords with a complacent belief that they are somehow 'guaranteed' an income that will never fall.

In the meantime we will see more shops close, until rentals fall to levels that are sustainable. And I think some will stay empty for a long time until there is a general realisation that property prices and rentals have to be commensurate with the real economy.

What is happening is called 'market re- adjustment', and what is happening here is happening in High Streets across the UK. Mothercare is re-negotiating its rentals with its landlords. If the landlord won't agree, they have promised to shut the shops in question. The big companies have the clout to do this. Tougher of course for the smaller retailers. But in the end, landlords may be left with a simple choice: less rent or no rent at all.

Here in Jersey, where property investors thought that the value of their investments could only ever go one way, this will be a profound shock. The equivalent of gravity being reversed.

But Jersey cannot possibly sustain rising property values with an economy that is actually declining. None of this should be a surprise. It was entirely predictable.

Colin

Well said Andre,

High rent is a major issue for retailers, also the smaller companies simply do not have the buying power to get their stock at price the large UK companies do.

I know that some companies buy stock from eBay simply because it is cheaper than their UK supplier will charge them, even then they are often paying the same, or more than UK companies retail the same goods for.

add to that transport costs to Jersey and it's pretty hard to compete with big UK companies.

Don't think that the prices a big UK company might charge to Jersey customers is any sort of a guide to what could be done by local companies, these big companies often just look at their overall profits, they can take years to realise their Jersey sales are actually losing them money, even then they may continue to lose money in order to "maintain a presence"

Selling on the internet does not bring customers into your shop, it takes them away. Internet companies have low rents and employ few staff, that's why they can charge less.

The only way local companies can use the internet to improve their profitability is to become an on-line trader and close their local shop.

Impressed

What a well constructed comment.

Accurate and to the point, not to mention correctly spelt and punctuated.

I just hope that more people will read your comment.

Overpopulated

Andre - a man who speaks the truth.

Most people in Jersey who own property have a rather optimistic belief in it's value.

Kleber

Totally agree and it has to end but as long as these landlords still believe Jersey is a growing economy and have some cash left, it will take longer. I'm Jersey born but left the Island in 2011, after I was made redundant in 2010. I was considering opening my own business but due to high rental costs I didn't see the point. I always asked if they would lower the rent but the same story (Oh this is Jersey). I'm in Ireland now and I really think the people learned from the recession, so it was a good thing. People got so greedy and it was all about property. Houses & Retail units were unaffordable (we have space) and people just had to buy even if it was in the middle of nowhere. Now it's a buyers market and prices were never lower, people just have to sell because they can't afford the mortgage. It would have cost me 70% more in 2004/2005 and I see the same happening in Jersey. The only thing that is different here, is that we have other trades and jobs are being created (no employment restrictions) but it will be a lot more difficult for Jersey. If people don't change their views now, it will just get worse & worse for Jersey.

Tally Ho

This is one of the best expositions of the forces now at work on our island. So much better than the sound and fury that characterises 90% of the postings on this site.

Jim

Funny enough, people (especially young couples) are still buying apartments at peak prices because they are funded by parents, believing they'll make profit to then get a house but that's not gonna happen anymore. In a few years there won't be any buyers left to afford these prices and a lot of people will be in shock, so prices will have to go down. Eventually they might inherit the house from the parents (if only child) when they're 50 but that's it. Until then, they will have to pray that their jobs still exist in 5 years.

Kule

We always hear the Jersey people moaning about foreigners spending their money back home but why should they spend their money on the Island if rents are so high. Locals are no different, they create these rents and buy online & wonder why salaries are dropping or no jobs are available. People from different cultures can live happily together, even on a small Island but if nobody spends or works together it will just get worse. Drop the 5 year rule but don't allow outsiders to buy land for residential use, set rental limits, encourage foreign investment and things will improve.

James Wiley

Thanks Andre, you're right but the government are the primary driver of the property bubble.

The house price bubble in Jersey was directly funded by the States of Jersey, and still is - first through Rent Rebate, and now with income support.

You can buy a property (and it was changed in the 1990's so that non-residents could buy, even if they could not live in Jersey properties) and rent it out and have the government pay your mortgage for you. It is hardly surprising that so many chose to take the 'free money'.

The rental component of income support increased by an inflation busting 6% last year, many landlords increased the rent by this amount the very next month.

Immigration driven by unfettered job creation in the public sector (as those who have been here five years or more get government jobs and their old jobs are filled by new immigrants) has ensured the demand for ever less adequate housing.

Now we are at the point where the government has had to rob the people blind.

20 means 20, GST, user pays charges, ever increasing impots, have all greatly added to the tax burden of Jersey people.

Inevitably, we have reached the point of crisis. The government cannot continue to create jobs, or continue to raise taxes and there are ever more people to pay income support for.

The States of Jersey will collapse under the weight of its own bureaucracy, but the States Members who engineered this bubble, whilst sitting on the boards of construction companies and taking directors fees have already left the island.

Sue

It is a great loss to 47 people

The future

Then Jersey became an Island of unemployed Internet shoppers, benefits were given out as Amazon vouchers as St Helier became a ghost town.

adder

lets all marry each other and claim tax for many partners

jazmine

we need hollister,decent shoe shops like office and schuh, sole trader, republic, h@m , shops like this that are new and exciting. We as an island should be encouraging these sort of shops to come to the island. AND - dont let sandpiper bring them in like George, jack wills etc

Sara

Freedom & Quicksilver aren't dated they are the only decent places to get clothes. I am very disapointed there closing and feel bad for all the brilliant staff who are losing their jobs.

Jub

GST on ALL imports would have prevented this!

Why don't the states listen to David Warr's brilliant proposal?!

S2

I take it that was sarcastic? 5% on all imports being paid to the government would have solved Collections Group problems how...?

Kermit

Import taxes in some countries could be very high. The idea is to keep the money in the country to buy local.

In some countries , they order all the parts and build the cars/mopeds from scratch to avoid paying those high taxes.

If we keep buying only on Amazon, how can retailers can make a living ?

BeanThereDoneThat

Sadly Jub you are as misguided as the foot shooter David Warr is. GST on all imports would have not prevented this.

The increase in taxes that would be collected will soon become part of our Treasury Ministers solution to his insatiable appetite for spending. Then with it another increase in Civil Servants on inflation proof salaries and pensions to boot.

The people in Jersey who currently shop online would have less disposable income, so what little or more they spend locally will fall even further.

Our States on the other hand will find even more ways to spend and waste money, one only has to look at the economic viability of creating a few spaces at Snow Hill and the fiasco of The Police Station relocation, the money wasted on the Girls College debacle, continual enquiries into enquiries.

The overall abysmal quality of the majority of our Politicians, some of who have an attendance record, that were they at school the truant office would be a regular caller to their homes.

No Jub, I am afraid to say what may have prevented this and other businesses, who in future may fail, is for our States to relax a lot of the red tape, bureaucracy,compliance and maybe then they can cut the Civil Servants.

Following this business would start to invest, employment would grow in the Private Sector and then just maybe we could remove the insidious Tax called GST.

Now that would be a solution.

Having A Larf

how would GST on all imports have prevented this, even if you add GST to items purchased over the internet those items are still cheaper then if you had purchased them in the Island?

Sensible

I think Jub was being sarcastic...! Well, hope.....

Jub

Guys, come on,

That was blatant sarcasm. It was more a dig at David Warr's stupid idea then agreeing with him.

Middle ground

Its an awful shame on the staff that have devoted years to the group. I really hope that the high street start to take note on lower rent as this may save more shops and jobs being lost. The Internet is great but nothing like a Saturday shopping spree and seeing your purchase in your bag. If we lose sight of the little things we could end up creating a monster for generations to come. I always try and buy local... I just hope the big stores listen and create more offers and cheaper rent.

Pip Clement

This steady loss of jobs across all sectors is eating away at the island.

The island is developing a structural unemployment problem and it is not just the bottom.

There are now resting bankers, accountants, lawyers, etc that will struggle to work again.

Jersey Bean

I agree with Andre he seems to speak sense. So Sad for these people but Jersey as a local who has lived away has been ripping us off for years. Rents, house prices, food, you name it. I dont no anyone who is the middle earner who does not internet shop, more choose and if you get to the UK shops are packed and cheaper etc again why would you not. Lovely to support local but only the choosen few can.

But hey you cant buy clothes here because the shops are all closing but they worry re this but not that everyone seems to be buying drugs which is a lucrative market !

What on earth does this say about Jersey

Jerry Gosselin

The irony is that I had been keeping my eye on a leather jacket in the De Gruchy concession of this business for months. I would much rather buy clothes locally than online. However, the price for this jacket was just way too high (between £400-500), so I waited patiently for a sale. When I went in on Christmas Eve, I noticed that they had reduced the price by a token £100, but it was still way too expensive at more than £300. Then I spotted that they had sold out of my size anyway, so even if I had been willing to part with that amount of cash, I couldn't because they hadn't kept sufficient stock in the sizes that are most popular. I was in the store as recently as last week and there were other brands of leather jackets that were also way too expensive and hadn't been reduced in price by one penny, yet we now know the company was in financial dire straits. Nobody was buying those jackets- they weren't shifting. Why didn't the management take control of the situation and reduce their prices drastically? I would love to know what the cost price of those jackets were because I'm sure they had way too much profit built into the price right up to the day they closed. Do they think everyone in the island works in a managerial position at Jersey Finance or something? As a consumer, it makes me really angry that they kept their prices that high right to the end when they knew they were in desperate trouble and couldn't even pay their own staff. Lesson for all local retailers: there ARE locals who want to buy your goods but unless you're prepared to offer us a genuinely good deal and unless you order in sufficient quantities of the most popular sizes then you are likely to miss out on all these potential sales.

don

Why would any retailer want to have large stock holdings on an item sold at a 'genuinely good deal' aka no money in it, because you might want to buy it.

The risk reward/ratio is not worth it.

Kimber

People seem to forget that Jersey is an Island and you can't stock massive ammounts. Why do you think it's cheaper elsewhere, because they have massive warehouses and buy in large quantities. If the butcher would buy his clothes on the Island and the retailer goes to the butcher, it would be fine but the butcher buys online and the retailer suffers. When the retailer suffers, he won't go to the butcher anymore and buy cheaper frozen food, so the butcher loses a customer & it goes on & on.

roombay42

Unfortunately so few realize the situation and think it won't affect them in the long term. The only ones it won't affect are the States workers who are cushioned from reality.

Art Lelai

I think you are wrong there. It will not be long before there is not enough money to pay States workers, we have not seen how much actual tax will be received by the Treasury next year.

I suspect GST will raise a lot less than they are expecting.

I expect income tax receipts will be lower than expected.

I expect income support will cost a lot more than they are expecting.

How much of the profits of the finance industry will be taxable in Jersey and how much will be management charged to cover losses in other jurisdictions like London?

The banks are facing massive fines and settlements for their various frauds are they going to want to pay tax on top of that?

roombay42

Re State's workers, I should have said 'in the short term'.

I believe Greece has cut back civil servants' remunerations by quite a large percentage. It'll eventually happen in Jersey.

kermit

Blame the Fashion !!! I stopped shopping since they re-introduced skinny jeans ...ha ha

b_luvs_mac

I am waiting for furniture which I order via Axle Jr, paid and now if my baby arrives early I have no furniture.

The stock is with the liquidator. what happens do I get my furniture? Should it not still be delivered to de gruchy.

I am so worried and annoyed.

L.Beagle

If you paid by credit card and the goods were over £100 in value, or you paid a deposit by credit card, you should be able to claim from the credit card company.

If not, you should make a claim with the liquidator but do not hold your breath.

You may also be able to take some action if the company was trading whilst insolvent which is a criminal offence.

A lesson to anyone reading this is always, always, pay by credit card, either in full or in part, if you want protection.

Dusty

This site with all the letters brings forward some good points and some really stupid ones. In nearly all the letters the Jersey readers blaim the state for one reason or another.the straight answer is GET RID and elect a group of people who are interested in Jersey, not themselves,money, to much profit,or building highrise parking buildings.There must be someone out there in the letter writing world who would like to put the world to right in Jersey, get elected to work for the good honest Jerseyites on the Island or are ALL full of wind and water.Get a life and get on with it.

Wise up

Golden Rules for Jersey

1.Never buy gift vouchers.

2.Never pay for any item before you actually

receive it

3.Always use a credit card.

4.Be careful where you buy your coffee.

Grumpy Lady

You can add to the "Golden Rules for Jersey"

Rule no. 5. Never buy your own property in Jersey, if you loose your job you can then apply for: Income Support, States Housing, etc., etc.,etc.

My husband and I are "foreigners" but we have always contibuted to the Island economy, we bought our house and buy all our necessities in here and we also pay taxes; we have seen the Farming & Hotel Industry go down, Finance is starting to go and now is Retail, what else needs to happen for the people in charged of running the Island realise that something drastic needs to be done, Jersey States needs young blood, fresh and inventive ideas, solutions and actions, not "old" people with arcaic laws and lookind after their own interests.

Jersey is our home but unfortunally there's nothing else we can do to help the change except TALK and express our frustations, but we can vote and support all that needs to done.

James Wiley

Golden Rules For Jersey:

1. Never put money in the bank, keep your excess capital as gold or silver.

2. Never sign an employment contract which is akin to a contract of slavery to the States of Jersey who will rob you and your employer before you even see your wages. Work on a self-employed basis.

3. Always pay in cash, and always at the time of exchange of goods, always expect a discount on the advertised price or just go somewhere else.

4. Never believe a word a civil servant tells you, go and read the law for yourself.

5. The problem is always caused by government, any solution they devise will only make the problem worse and ruin something else in the process.

truthseeker

yet again the Taxpayer is to pay the wages for those unfortunate to lose their jobs....but it ws not the Taxpayers fault....these companies should have to by law hold a months wages in escrow type a/c for these events...and directors be personally responsible...as it is it looks very much like the old 'back door' sellout stitchup.Lawyers and crooks 1...punters nil.

James Wiley

Money in the bank is money that you have lent the bank, you may not get it back.

Banks are dependent on wholesale fraud for profitability. They mis-sell make a fortune and then pay 5% to 10% five years later.

Only a fool would trust banks with all the scandals that have racked the system for the past five years.

Take your money out and buy gold as soon as you can.

Money is losing value faster than ever.

No sane business would follow your idea, but then again no sane business would employ anyone in Jersey - which is why everyone has to work for the States of Jersey.

Clare

People like you Grumpy Lady really make me laugh. You own your own house and you still complain. Why don't you sell it for £20, spend the money and then go on to Incpme Support. Go on, I dare you. No, you won't do it will you, becuse deep down you know how fortunate you are. And don't come out with the usual rubbish about working hard all your life, you're probably one of those many people who benefited from the States Loan System in the Eighties or maybe had a bit of help from mummy and daddy with the deposit,or perhaps you inherited it like a lot of people in Jersey.

La Moye Squirrel

Clare - and pray tell me what is wrong with working hard, benefitting from the States Loan system or inheriting? Well what more would you expect from native Islanders of a certain age? Those were the climes and times we grew up in. You can't change fact.

the frenchie

truthseeker (no 19) makes a very valid point.

Grumpy Lady

Dear Clare, for your information we had to wait 20 years in order to be able to buy a property in Jersey, so, no States Loan System, no help from mummy and daddy or inheritance, no weekends boozing, no holidays in Kavos or Ibiza, just old hard saving. Nobody ever gave me anything, so go and have you laughs somewere else.

teresa

Like you I had to work hard to buy a house without any help, did not have children as I had to wait 20 years to be able to rent/buy decent living accommodation. I can see that buying property at present must be very difficult due to job insecurity, unemployment etc... But we had to really make a lot of sacrifices to get what we now have i.e. house, car…

ABC

If you don't spend your money in Jersey, it is no longer in circulation in our own economy. The less in circulation, the worse it will become. Incomes become lower as companies cannot afford to pay their staff and redundancies are made. Less income means less to spend = more companies going out of business or cutting back and the cycle continues, ever worsening.

Not everything is more expensive here, or even massively so. Agreed that some items, especially electrical items, furniture etc can have a huge price difference but the majority of the items that we buy are not drastically different and I see them as relative. We do pay much less tax than in the UK, we have higher wages than many areas (I am not saying all).

The more you shop from outside the island to save a couple of quid or because you feel it is the principle (I have recently seen an argument online about having to pay 50p more for a school shirt in George than in the UK - get over it!), the value of shopping here and keeping our money here out ways the saving but this seems that most do not share this opinion.

You all have a choice. Make the right one for the future. It is up to all of us to contribute to the economy, not only the government.

Helen

So true,jersey needs a campaign ,shop local,save your island before its too late.stop shopping on the Internet ,spend your money local. 90 percent of of retail shops are the same price here as uk,so I don't get what the big deal is.why pick retail ,do u think restaurants are cheaper here then uk,not,restaurants here are a rip off but people don't mind paying crazy amounts ,go for dinner in uk ,that's really cheap.pubs and clubs are much more expensive nobody moans.all uk shops are same price in uk as here often same price on the Internet ,but some people are just followers ,ie,only do it cause everyone else is doing it.in time Internet shopping will have a domino effect on the island,high unemployment ,working people will have to pay higher tax ,to help the island pay benefits ect,which is mainly for locals,who moan about uk companies ,but are ok with our tax paying for their homes ,food ect. So stop and think before u buy on line.stop moaning about shop prices ,consider the staff whose tax is paying for u......

Thinker

I'm afraid money spent in Jersey often does not stay in Jersey. It is repatriated to the headoffice of the UK based store or retained in cash deposits offshore to mitigate tax liablities.

ABC

But the money paid in wages to staff stays in the island.....until it is spent online!

Rich

Let's hope local businesses support the local market by pricing in such a way as to encourage local sales.

At least the money that I save by buying online enables me to have more disposable income in my pocket, which I can then spend in the local shop - if the price is right. Or I can save it, instead of it being pocketed by the local middleman who rarely adds any value for being the go-between.

Just the start

These shops are the tipof the iceberg I am afraid, more will go by the wayside if the rumours are correct. Commercial rents are killing the island. The only shops left will be where the property is owned by the company. Greedy landlords. Soon there will be only bookies charity shops and coffee houses. Well done Jersey i am going to start selling tumbleweed and we can roll it from Snowhill to Charring cross.

La Moye Squirrel

Well, when greedy landlords don't have any rent coming in they will have less money so they will have to choose whether to rent out for less or have an empty property standing idle. Law of cause and effect.