Powerhouse goes underElectrical chain shuts stores, sends workers home

02 August 2006

Electrical chain Powerhouse closed its 50 stores across the country today after going into administration.

Hundreds of staff were sent home and union officials said workers were ‘devastated’ after hearing they would be made redundant.

The stores are owned by the New Zealand-based PRG Group, which said earlier this year that Powerhouse was facing tough market conditions. PRG bought Powerhouse from administrators after the electrical chain went bust in 2003.

Today, administrators from BDO Stoy Hayward said that, following a review of the business, it had been decided to close all 50 trading stores with immediate effect, making 500 workers redundant.

Internet competition

It added: ‘Internet retailers and increased competition on the high street, coupled with an ongoing deterioration in the UK electrical retail market, has led to Powerhouse being unable to sustain its position in the retail marketplace. At a board meeting yesterday, directors of the UK company decided to appoint administrators.'

Customers who have made recent purchases from Powerhouse stores are being advised to call a helpline number, 0845 603 4037. The administrators said they hoped that most purchases would be honoured.

Martha Thompson of BDO Stoy Hayward, said: ‘We have conducted an immediate review of the Powerhouse business and it is with real regret that it has been necessary to close all the trading stores.

‘We will continue to work hard to secure a sale of the business and its assets. Customers who have made recent purchases are urged to call the helpline number so their queries can be resolved as quickly as possible.’