One of London’s biggest department store’s historic Allders of Croydon has announced that it is likely to close its doors for the last time on September 22. The 150-year-old store, which is part-owned by Harold Tillman, fell into administration in June
and the closure will likely result in the loss of hundreds of jobs after failing to find a buyer.
& Phelps were appointed as administrators to the 500,000 sq ft store to try and sell the retailer. However, even though they confirmed that they received a number of expressions of interest, no formal offer was received, and the final remaining party withdrew last week.
A sticking point for potential bidders was understood to be the uncertainty around the long-term future of the property as a result of planned redevelopment of Croydon.
Geoff Bouchier, Duff & Phelps Partner, said: "It is with sadness that we are making this announcement as we recognise that the store is an historic and iconic landmark in the local community.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Allders, the concession partners, Croydon Council and the landlord Minerva for their continued support throughout the Administration trading period."
Croydon Council added in a statement: "Unfortunately, the administrators have not been able to negotiate a rescue deal with any prospective investor in the time available."
Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher added: “We’re tremendously sad that it is likely that the store will be closing its doors. It has been part of the town for a very long time. Unfortunately, Allders has been unable to keep up with the competition in the modern retail market.
"What I am confident about is that the current plans for the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre will see this site given a new lease of life. We will be working closely with the landlords to bring the space back into use as quickly as possible."
As a result of the likely closure, the Council has set up an Allders Staff Support Group, which will offer advice from Jobcentre Plus, the Skills Funding Agency, Croydon Adult Learning Services, Croydon College and local retailers.