(BR) UK Gift Shops Goes Unders, Leaves Employees Without Payments

ANGRY staff have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after a gift shop went into liquidation.

Time It Retail Ltd, which had a temporary pop-up shop called Gift Fuzion in the Metrocentre, has called it a day after it hit cash flow problems.

The firm operated approximately 50 stores throughout the UK under the trading styles Gimme Gizmo, Gift Fuzion, Expressions & Fun Fuzion and all of the stores are now understood to have closed.

Disgruntled workers from the Gateshead-based store were left in the dark as to the company’s situation until this week when liquidators confirmed that they have been called in to sort out the troubled finances.

Danielle Havers-Smith worked for Gift Fuzion from September last year through to January and is owed almost £600 from the company.

The 19-year-old, from Burnopfield, County Durham, said: “I finished working for them on January 6 and my last pay cheque and P45 still haven’t arrived.

“When we left we were told we would get our last payment on January 23 but we didn’t. Nothing turned up so I kept ringing the office and they would say it was due at the end of the week.”

Danielle and her fellow workers at the Metrocentre said the job itself had been great and there was no indication on the last day they worked that the company was in any kind of trouble.

She said: “Everything was fine on January 6 and none of us knew anything was wrong.

“There were 14 of us in total working there and I’m still owed £570 but some of the others are owed more and I think we worked it out that it’s about £10,000 in total that hasn’t been paid.”

A spokesman for liquidators Sharma & Co, said: “I can confirm that I have been instructed by the directors of Time It Retail Limited, Time It Retail 2 Limited, Time Retail 3 Limited and Retail Outlets (Holdings) Limited to summon meetings of the companies members and creditors with the intention of placing the companies into liquidation. Those meetings are scheduled to be held on March 21.

“The companies employed approximately 340 employees across the various stores. All known employees have been written to and provided with the appropriate forms to allow them to claim the monies they are owed, which I understand relates primarily to wages owed, from the Redundancy Payments Directorate.”

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This blog and its accompanying Twitter account have been established as social media learning tools for the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement class at Columbia College Chicago. Through this blog, we will share our observations about current events, change management and employee communications theory, and the application of social media in shaping employee engagement.
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