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Shoppers shocked as Liverpool's Rapid store ‘closed until further notice’

ONE of Liverpool’s most iconic retailers Rapid hardware appears to have brought down its shutters for the final time.

Rapid Hardware on Basnett Street placed a notice on its door yesterday saying the store will be “closed until further notice”.

It comes just days after the famous DIY and household retailer went into administration when it failed to agree a deal with its bankers, Royal Bank of Scotland.

The city centre store – which employs 100 people and has been open since 1971 – was closed all day yesterday with staff sent home.

Administrators Duff & Phelps admitted that the “final closure of the store cannot be ruled out.”

Rapid’s parent company, Rapid Group Holdings, reported pre-tax losses of £2.2m for the 17 months to the end of June 2011, forcing an urgent turnaround strategy.

But yesterday the store kept its doors shut to the public as stock was cleared away from the front windows.

Joint administrator Philip Duffy said in a statement: “Following a review of the business and its stock holding, the joint administrators have today suspended operations pending discussions with the Company’s main suppliers.

“At this stage however, final closure of the store cannot be ruled out.”

Yesterday concerned customers and shoppers gathered outside the shop – at the site of the former George Henry Lee’s store – anxious to get their money back on purchases already made.

John Arrands, 63 of Kirkby, went down to try and collect a £140 lamp which he bought five weeks ago and is in the shop window.

“The lamp is right there in the window – we would happily take it now but we can’t.

“We’ve always been loyal customers of the store, but we’re really surprised at how the closure has been handled.

“We’re totally in the dark now – I’m not at all confident we’ll get our money back.”

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