Go Mobile boss Iain Humphrey (pictured) is to put the Go Mobile retail business into administration, and to open up its remaining shops under the Shebang brand as part of a separate trading company.
Humphrey this week shut 15 more shops, following the 15 closed at the start of February. His Go Mobile retail estate now stands at 43 stores.
Of that number, 26 were acquired from independent retaier Intek late last year. They are part of a separate trading company, Shebang Retail Southwest, and are unaffected by the latest closures.
Shebang Retail, the trading company for the remaining 17 Go Mobile shops across the Midlands and North, is to be put into administration next week. The 17 remaining sites are expected to be swapped into a Shebang sister company, Mobile News understands, and to go on trading under the Shebang signage.
The old Intek stores will also go forward under the Shebang brand.
Julian Burton, general manager of the Shebang distribution business, said: “Fifteen stores have ceased trading in anticipation Shebang Retail will go into insolvency.”
Humphrey shut 15 stores at the start of the month, and issued stringent warnings to remaining store staff that they must improve performance if their shops are to remain open and they are to keep their jobs.
Around 20 store staff were informed of the decision Wednesday (February 24), despite several claiming improved performance in the month. They claim not to have been paid for February, as scheduled today (Friday, February 26).
They have been called to consultation meetings next week, where they expect to be fromally offered redundancy packages. They claim to be owed a month’s wages, plus holiday and commission.
An insolvency practioner is to be appointed and will work through the process, including staff outstanding pay and staff redundancies. The redundancies of staff working at the 15 shops shut at the start of February have been held up by this latest move.