It is an end of an era. CHIPSWORLD has closed all 12 of its company-owned stores and has made its staff redundant.
The indie chain has been jointly run by Nik Agar and Don McCabe for 24 years.
But it’s not quite all over for the brand. CHIPS’ franchise business – which includes 14 outlets across the UK – will remain open. And MCV understands that McCabe and Agar are working hard to secure a future for other parts of the business, too.
CHIPS has struggled since the onset of the economic downturn. It stopped producing its CHIPS magazine and even cancelled its annual conference last year. CHIPSWORLD Ltd entered into a Company Voluntary Agreement before Christmas after running up significant debts with HMRC.
“We’ve had to close the company shops and I have made the company staff redundant,” said McCabe. “The CHIPS franchise business is unaffected.
“I am very sad that the company I have spent the best part of 25 years building is going. I have taken some time out to read the comments on MCVuk.com. And I was quite pleased by what I read.
“One thing I’ve been bowled over by is the level of support and best wishes from the industry. You feel like you’ve failed, but people have been very kind. There is a level of respect from people that, right now, I don’t feel like I deserve. The comments I’ve had from suppliers have been astounding.”
He added: “I am in the building now and the staff are redundant, so I should be here on my own, but there is 10 or 12 people in the building. They don’t mind that they’re not getting paid. They’re saying ‘You can’t do this on your own, so we’ll help.’
“These guys are a big part of my life. They are not just employees at the end of the day.”