Fopp: 700 jobs axed

<p>Fopp&#39;s administrators have axed 700 jobs from the collapsed retailer--but the store managers have been retained as the administrators look into reopening and selling the shops. Joint receiver and administrator Ernst &amp; Young has also urged any companies interested in taking over the company to contact them.</p><p>Tom Burton and Colin Dempster from Ernst &amp; Young said that they would be retaining the store managers while they examine the prospects of reopening. Burton said: &quot;It is unfortunate that we have had to make these redundancies but we are not in a position to re-open the stores until we have the agreement of suppliers who control the licenses to sell stock.&quot;</p><p>He added that the administrators wanted to ensure employees have the chance to claim what pay they are entitled to through the government&#39;s Redundancy Fund. He said a dedicated team from the administrators would be available to help with claims.</p><p>According to the Times, the chain owes about &pound;20m to creditors, including its bank, HBOS. Of this about &pound;10m is owed to suppliers, including Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI, Plastic Head Music Distribution and ESD Wholesale. </p><p>Burton and Dempster were appointed joint receivers of Fopp and joint administrators to Music Zone, which Fopp took over earlier this year, last Friday.</p><p>The shops closed their doors for the last time last Thursday. Staff are still to be paid a salary for June.<br /> </p><p>The closure ended two weeks of speculation about the troubled chain, which was sparked when The Bookseller revealed it had cancelled book orders with publishers. It said the move was due to a change in its warehouse locations. The following week however the chain was forced to temporarily close its shops for one day for an emergency stock-take. It reopened them, but had only been taking payments in cash.</p><p>Fopp is a retailer of music, film and books in the United Kingdom that began as a one-man stall in Glasgow, Scotland in 1981. It had been expanding of late, with the recent acquisition of 68 Music Zone stores out of administration, many of these have subsequently been closed. There are now 50 Fopp stores and 31 Music Zone stores across the UK.</p>