TJ Hughes are probably best known for using relatives of well established celebrities to advertise their products. Who can forget the brother of Wayne Rooney talking about the great bargains in their High Street stores and other such distant celebrity family members, as Carol Vorderman’s mother and Robbie William’s father, extolling the virtues of price discounts and super savings. Whilst it was seen as a good advertising trick to save money, unfortunately the store is now closing so is that good news for us or a great loss to a well known brand? In the short term we can grab some amazing bargains but with the closure of Woolworths a couple of years ago, we perhaps should be looking long term and wondering what is happening to our High Streets. Is it that larger chain stores now have a monopoly on shoppers and can afford the higher rents or are we just so fixated on a bargain in these tough economic times that we can only see the immediate gain and no look to the future?
TJ Hughes was one of the largest of the new kind of discount department stores which was founded in 1912 in Liverpool. The retail chain has 57 department stores throughout the UK and specialises in home and fashion, garden furniture, fragrance, cosmetics, menswear, womens-wear, toys, and electrical items. Some of the larger stores also include a restaurant. Although the group is based mainly in the north of England it has stores throughout Britain and the company headquarters are currently located in Liverpool where it originated.On Monday 27th June 2011, TJ Hughes Limited announced that it intended to go into administration. TJ Hughes officially entered administration on Thursday 30th June 2011 with Ernst and Young appointed as administrators which put 4000 jobs at risk.The company began a closing down sale, with “1000’s of items reduced” in a bid to reduce stock levels.
TJHughes is not the only retailer to suffer the tough economic climate as last week Jane Norman, the well known womens wear clothing chain, went into administration and home furnishing store Habitat finally called in the receivers. It is thought that there are a number of interested parties who are keen to buy up the stores however, with Primark a primary contender and retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, who owns the Arcadia Group which owns well-known High Street chains such as Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topshop and Topman and Wallis also interested. It is hoped that TJ Hughes will be sold as a viable business and that the staff already employed will be able to keep their jobs. Ernst and Young see the store as very much ‘business as usual’ and perhaps we shall see TJ Hughes, although re-branded, back on our High Streets very soon. In the meantime, here are some coupons to keep you happy!