JTF Store opening

A JTF store before the collapse of the chain last year

Managers at JTF Mega Discount Warehouse have been dismissed months after the acquisition of the chain by Poundstretcher’s owners.

JTF collapsed into administration last summer, with the closure of 12 stores and hundreds of staff immediately made redundant, as revealed by The Grocer at the time.

The business was then bought from administrators in September by Poundstretcher subsidiary Bargain Buys. Some former staff were given jobs again as stores reopened, including a number of managers, who were put on six months’ probation under their new employment contracts.

However, 12 managers were let go at the end of January, five months into the probation period, The Grocer understands. All were at store manager level or above, some having worked at JTF for over a decade.

“Myself along with other senior managers had our contracts terminated with no prior warning or consultation,” one told The Grocer.

Another said: “Technically they terminated us in accordance with our contracts, as we were employed with a six-month probationary period requiring one week’s notice from either side.

“We were dismissed due to poor sales against unachievable sales targets.”

The source said all 12 “went on the 24 January via individual phone calls”.

“It was five months into our contracts, once the stores had been set up and the JTF knowledge tapped,” the source added.

Poundstretcher’s owners acquired the rights reopen nine JTF stores and began doing so in September, only to close one of them again, in Tamworth, at the end of December. 

The fate of another, in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, looked in doubt this week after it was put up for rent. The 47,000 sq ft unit was listed on commercial property website Realla.co.uk on Tuesday (22 February) by agents FHP. The branch was open and trading on Wednesday, and a staff member said he did not know whether it was set to close.

Poundstretcher did not respond to The Grocer’s enquiries.

The Grocer last week revealed JTF stores, including in Newcastle, Kidderminster and Lincoln, were staging clearance sales with 50% off everything. A number of Poundstretcher stores across the country are holding similar 50%-off sales.