Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Trouble erupts as Derry bargain-hunters swamp sports shop

A man has been cautioned by the police for disorder after trouble broke out at a Londonderry branch of the collapsed JJB Sports chain.

The police were called out at around 11pm on Monday to the Strand Road store where large crowds had gathered to get their hands on a bargain at the doomed sportswear giant.

It was reported that large numbers of people were trying to force their way into the shop and the police were called in to control the crowd.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police assisted with a large crowd and a 29-year-old male was cautioned for disorderly behaviour.”

Shoppers have been descending on JJB stores across the UK in their droves after it was revealed on Monday that 20 of the 153 UK shops in the chain have been sold to rival Sports Direct.

Three of those sold off are the Antrim town JJB outlet, the Lisburn store and the Strand Road shop in Derry.

Sports Direct bought all the remaining stock from JJB and is now shipping it to the 20 shops it has bought to be sold off at sale prices.

Those outlets are likely to continue trading as JJB until the stock has been sold before they close to be rebranded as Sports Direct.

A spokesman for Sports Direct said: “The stock that we bought from the administrators will be sold primarily through these 20 stores with heavy discounts.”

All stores that were not included in the sale have been closed with the loss of about 2,200 jobs.

Following the appointment of administrators KMPG, a total of 2,200 JJB Sports staff were made redundant as the rest of the chain closed — many more than originally expected.

In a blow to the Northern Ireland high street, a total of 10 JJB Sports stores here closed on Monday, with a loss of 150 jobs.

The stores that shut are Belfast Ann Street; Belfast Royal Avenue; Belfast Drumkeen; Ballymena; Bangor; Coleraine; Craigavon; Derry (Richmond Centre), Newry and Newtownards.

Experts have said there could be more bad news for the retail sector in the run-up to Christmas as more shops find themselves in trouble.

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