Worrying times for staff at Peterborough's Poundworld

Poundworld in the Rivergate shopping centre, Peterborough.
Poundworld in the Rivergate shopping centre, Peterborough.
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Staff at a Peterborough retailer are facing a tough time as the business edges towards administration.

Budget retailer Poundworld, which has stores in Peterborough's Rivergate Shopping Centre and in Wisbech Retail Park, Cromwell Road, Wisbech, is reported to be about to appoint financial experts to handle an administration.

Poundworld in the Rivergate shopping centre, Peterborough.

Poundworld in the Rivergate shopping centre, Peterborough.

The move comes after the collapse of talks to rescue the business, which saw its losses increase in 2016-17 to £17.1 million, from £5.4 million the previous year.

Poundworld, which was formed 14 years ago but traces its origins to 1974 and a market stall in West Yorkshire, employs 5,100 people across 350 stores nationally,

It was named in the Sunday Times Top Track 250 in 2014 and 2016 as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies.

Its crisis comes after retailers Toys r Us and Maplins both went into administration earlier this year.

A few days ago House of Fraser detailed its plans to shut 31 stores, affecting around 6,000 jobs.

House of Fraser is seeking landlord approval for the restructuring plan, which is a form of insolvency known as a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

A raft of CVAs have been struck in recent months as retailers struggle amid surging costs, rising business rates, competition from online rivals and a slowdown in consumer spending.

Other retailers undertaking CVAs in a bid to keep trading include New Look, Mothercare and Carpetright.

Restaurant businesses have also been seeking to cut their costs with store closure programmes, with Carluccio's, Byron and Prezzo all pushing through CVAs this year.