Robbs and Joplings owner Vergo Retail in administration

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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10 Responses

  1. Liam Kinsella says:

    I appreciate its been much time since this happened but I note that Lewis’s, Joplings and Robbs previously had collective turnover of around £50m in 2005, however within five years this had collapsed to £15m – I worked, as a college student, on a Sunday and did print off reports at the time which showed the decline, However £50m to £15m is much more than I expected.

  2. Graham Soult says:

    Hi BS, your assessment accords very closely to my own thoughts! I think Beales have got a bargain with Robbs really, but hope that someone else will step in and rescue Joplings too. Sunderland’s the wrong location for a Beales, unfortunately – too ‘big city’

  3. BS says:

    From what Ive heard I get the impression that Joplings, as well as Lewis’s was not profitable in the past few years. Lewis’s was hit by a shift in Liverpool’s retail Centre and was profitable before L1 opened, as has Derrys in Plymouth. Joplings got hit badly by the recession and as with Lewis’s hasnt been profitable in the past 2 years. Thats my guess anyway. I think Robbs lack of profitablity this year is a blip and has been profitable most of the time in the past 3 years.

  4. CP says:

    Was the whole Vergo empire built on sand?

    It was stated that Mr Thompson bought Robbs and Joplings (together with Lewis’s) back from the receivers of the failed Owen Owen because the first two were profitable.
    These latest figures suggest the much larger Lewis’s losses must have dragged down any profits from the other two.
    Could Vergo ever have worked in these circumstances?

    As for buying more loss making stores from the Co-op…turnover is vanity.

    Lets hope Beales do buy Robbs and provide some much needed stability for this iconic store, its staff and concession holders and suppliers.

  5. Bal says:

    My company also has been affected by Vergo going into administration. Just days before the announcement was made, a cheque owed to us from them bounced from their concession trust account. No one is being clear as to our position or what happens next! I don’t understand how people are still trading within their stores!

  6. joh taylor says:

    Regarding the concessions losing all thier money.A lot of the concsessions(my business included)have agreements stating that the money was to go into a trust fund thus safegarding our monies.This ahs not happened in fact we had a recent cheque that was stopped abd this was coming from the trust fund.does anyone know if this is legal? Or is anyone in the same situation

  1. May 18, 2010

    […] I appended to my blog post last week, Robbs is one of nine loss-making Vergo Retail stores already earmarked for closure, while a buyer […]

  2. May 21, 2010

    […] As I reported before, a sticking point to any takeover could be Buccleuch Group’s own, medium-term development plans for the Robbs site.  However, it’s hard to imagine Buccleuch turning down the opportunity to secure Beales as a tenant, given the investment and long-term commitment to Hexham that would surely follow – a much more satisfactory scenario than has been the case under Vergo Retail’s tenancy. […]

  3. May 31, 2010

    […] the uncertainty over the future of the Vergo Retail store empire continues, potential suitors for some of the stores are starting to emerge. Here are the latest […]

  4. June 13, 2010

    […] from David Thompson’s 19-strong Vergo chain to have been saved following the company’s collapse into administration. There is no news on the future of Joplings in Sunderland or any of the other shops in the south […]

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