Sixty NI jobs threatened by Maplin collapse

Sixty jobs are threatened in Northern Ireland after electronics store Maplin entered administration.

Its five outlets include Belfast International Airport, Boucher Road, Connswater, Coleraine and Londonderry.

The company experienced a decline in performance as a result of the softening of consumer demand in what administrators said has been a challenging retail environment and higher-priced products.

Management was unable to sell the business and the directors decided to put the UK-wide firm into administration.

PwC administrator Zelf Hussain said: "The challenging conditions in the UK retail sector are well documented.

"Like many other retailers, Maplin has been hit hard by a slowdown in consumer spending and more expensive imports as the pound has weakened.

"Our initial focus as administrators will be to engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the company. We will continue to trade the business as normal whilst a buyer is sought.

"Staff have been paid their February wages and will continue to be paid for future work while the company is in administration."

Toys R Us has also gone into administration.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Conor Murphy said: "Both companies have stores in a number of locations across the north so any job losses would be widely felt.

"While the companies are undergoing the receivership process all efforts should be made to find a buyer in order to safeguard jobs.

"I would encourage both companies to explore all options and to keep staff informed of all future developments."