Eyres closure: Staff reported to have been paid in furniture with ‘no money left’ in Chesterfield company’s final days

The Derbyshire Times has received several reports that staff at Eyres of Chesterfield were paid with furniture before the store closed last month.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 3:58 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 4:01 pm

One individual, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she knew an employee who had reportedly taken a mirror from the store as a form of payment.

“Before the final days of this esteemed company, the staff were being told to take furniture or goods from the store in lieu of wages because there was no money left in the business.

“My informant took a large mirror, although it was not actually needed, in place of wages.”

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Eyres of Chesterfield ceased trading last month - with staff reportedly being paid with furniture.

Another individual said that they had spoken to a member of staff who also claimed to have been paid in furniture prior to the closure.

“I was told by an employee of this company that they were under investigation for some reason and also had their wages paid with stock items because they were struggling to pay their staff.

“It does not surprise me at all that deposits have been lost, but it isn’t right in any way.”

A family member of two former Eyres employees said that staff were allowed to take furniture instead of receiving holiday pay, and that they had heard nothing regarding redundancy payouts.

“It was in lieu of holiday pay – it wasn't a case of helping yourself. I think they got £65 per days holiday against the cost price of the item they were taking.

“So if they were owed 10 days holiday, they could take £650 of goods at cost price.

“This was recorded within the company. A more worrying aspect is that the company is still active at companies house but until the administrator goes in and makes it inactive, ACAS cannot help, so the workers are left in limbo regarding any redundancy pay.”

Several customers contacted the Derbyshire Times and said they had paid deposits for furniture as far back as September 2021.

They were reassured that their furniture would soon arrive, only to eventually be told by other stores who use the same suppliers that their orders were either never placed or not paid for.

Eyres had been trading for 147 years when it announced its closure in April. In a letter sent to staff, they were told that the company had been unable to secure funding for essential building repairs at their town centre store.

This left them unable to reopen, affecting their ability to meet creditor demands. Employees were told they would not receive any further payment of wages, and that the company would cease trading with immediate effect.

The store was rumoured to have shut permanently in February after signs advertising a closing down sale appeared in the store windows.

At the time, an Eyres spokesperson told the Derbyshire Times that they were “temporarily closing for around two months from the middle or end of February” for repairs, and that the store “will be reopening after the refurbishment”.

We have made repeated attempts to contact Eyres regarding the situation, but nobody from the store has returned our calls or emails.