Jobs lost as La Senza shops close


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THE Waterlooville, Fareham and Chichester branches of the La Senza underwear chain have not been saved from closure.

The chain’s outlet inside Debenhams in Portsmouth has also fallen victim to the firm going into administration before Christmas.

The closures mean the loss of 30 jobs locally, with 1,176 being lost in the UK and Ireland.

On Monday it was announced that 84 shops and 18 concessions within department stores had served their last customers.

It was announced that 60 of the firm’s outlets would be saved by Middle Eastern retail giant Alshaya UK Ltd, and the nearest La Senza chain to survive is in Southampton’s West Quay.

The News understands that some staff were only told on Monday that they had lost their jobs.

One now ex-staff member, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘We knew things were bad before Christmas, so it hasn’t been a complete surprise.

‘We had hoped we’d be one of the stores that would have been saved, but that’s obviously not happened.

‘It was a bit of a surprise to turn up to work and be told that the shop was shutting that day, though. I must admit that was tough to hear.

‘I don’t know what I’m going to do now for work, there’s not really much about.’

Richard Flemming, joint administrator and UK head of restructuring at KPMG, which has handled the administration process, said: ‘We are delighted that we have been able to rescue part of La Senza UK and such a large number of jobs, given the negative economic pressures faced by retailers in the UK.

‘Alshaya is a leading international retail operator with long standing links with the UK as the international franchise partner of a string of high street brands.

‘This deal recognises the value of La Senza as a strong and popular high street brand with a loyal customer base.’

Alshaya UK Ltd is part of Alshaya Group in Kuwait, which has interests in high street brands such as Mothercare, Debenhams, River Island, Next, Topshop, The Body Shop, Vision Express, Boots and H&M.