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Staff appeal for help from shut photo shop window
8:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
STAFF at a town centre photo shop have been making their feelings clear after becoming the latest victims of the high street crash.
Jessops stores closed on Friday, including the old market place shop, after the company went into administration last week.
Lanza Martineta, who had worked at the shop for four years, put an appeal in the window for ‘five unemployed and loyal staff seeking work’ on Monday night but he said he could not believe the reaction his sign received.
The 44-year-old, who lives in Bewsey, hit the headlines as well as conducting TV and radio interviews after his note criticised the government and banks for not doing more to help the high street.
He added: “The people who worked in Jessops were passionate about what they did.
“The problem is we were competing with the internet and if a store has to pay the best part of £92,000 a year in rent before it makes a profit that adds up.
“Rent should be subsidised by the government otherwise independent companies fall by the wayside.”
Lanza, who described Warrington town centre as a ‘ghost town’, said he only found out the company had gone into administration when a reporter called the shop.
He added: “We had to pack up for the administrators on Monday which was incredibly debilitating considering everything we had put together and built over the years we were having to take down.
“It included a board with pictures of staff who had scored 90 to 100 per cent during secret shopper assessments so I decided to stick them up in the window.
“Lots of people came in and said they were going to miss us and they couldn’t believe what was going on with the high street at the moment but what we really want at the moment are jobs to replace the ones we have lost.”
The graphic designer said one member of staff had worked at the store for 15 years while others were parents and had concerns about paying their mortgage and rent.
Administrators later took the pictures and note down on Wednesday.