Stores hang on in there as national crisis grips

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Two leading Aylesbury stores have been spared closure despite the struggles of their parent companies.

Dreams announced it had gone into administration last week, while Thomas Cook said it would be closing 195 high street stores and it was feared there could be job losses in Aylesbury.

However, the travel agent has said its Hale Leys branch will be staying open and the bed retailer’s Aylesbury store was among 171 sold to a company controlled by Sun Capital Partners to take it out of administration.

In Great Missenden, however, there was less welcome news. The village’s Thomas Cook store, which employs six people, is among those that have been earmarked for closure.

The firm said branches selected for closure were ones near to another store or were not meeting performance targets.

Joanna Wild, Thomas Cook Co-operative retail network managing director, said: “As a large retailer we regularly review our network to make sure we have the right stores in the right places for our customers and regrettably there are occasions where we need to close certain branches. Following careful consideration, we have announced that the Thomas Cook Great Missenden store is proposed to close and we are working with the six colleagues who are affected.

“We’d like to thank both our colleagues and customers for the commitment and understanding during this process.”

Dreams’ administrators sold the company to Sun Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Alan Hudson, joint administrator, said: “The business will continue to trade without interruption, over 1,600 jobs have been transferred and the future of Dreams on the UK high street has been safeguarded.”

Aylesbury has lost a number of stores to administration, including Peacocks, Comet, Jessops, Pure Party and La Senza.