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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 20:20 GMT
Lewis's bosses call in receivers
Lewis's department store
The store in Liverpool is continuing to trade
The owners of Liverpool department store Lewis's have called in receivers following "cashflow difficulties".

Owen Owen Ltd has appointed the firm Kroll to handle the store's affairs.

Kroll said Lewis's would continue trading as a going concern, but it could not give any information about whether jobs would be affected.

Sir Paul McCartney once worked as a temp at the store which is famous for a naked statue by Sir Jacob Epstein above the entrance.

David Thompson, chief executive officer of Owen Owen Ltd, said: "Despite today's announcement, I would like to reassure customers that it is business as usual for the stores."

According to Kroll, the company experienced "challenging retail conditions over a sustained period".

'Concerned workers'

Philip Duffy, of Kroll, added: "We are continuing to trade the business as a going concern while we evaluate options.

"These department stores are strong local brands and we are therefore hopeful of securing the future of the businesses.

"We fully appreciate that this is a concerning time for employees as well as local consumers, and we will keep all stakeholders as fully appraised as possible."

Paul Croft from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) said: "At this stage there are no job losses - we have spoken to the company who have told us that the store will continue to trade.

"The staff have been briefed and will come in to work as usual.

"If the people of Liverpool want this iconic building to be preserved, they need to come in and shop there so that the administrators can sell it as a profitable venture."

Owen Owen Ltd also operates department stores Esslemont & MacIntosh in Aberdeen, Robbs in Hexham and Joplings in Sunderland.

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