Rent-to-own firm BrightHouse to shut 30 stores putting 350 jobs at risk
Redundancies 'inevitable' at controversial retailer accused of charging interest rates of up to 1,500% to vulnerable customers
Redundancies will be “inevitable” despite efforts to transfer staff to other roles, BrightHouse said. Around 350 of BrightHouse's 3,000 staff are affected.
BrightHouse rents household goods such as refrigerators and washing machines to customers who find it difficult to get credit from traditional sources.
It has been criticised for charging interest rates of up to 1,500 per cent to customers in financial distress.
Last year the City watchdog proposed a price cap on rent-to-own providers aimed at protecting consumers from racking up unsustainable debt to buy essential household items.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said come customers were paying up to four times the average retail price due to high interest payments on items.
In 2017, BrightHouse paid out £14.8m to compensate a quarter of a million customers after the FCA found the company had not acted as a “responsible lender”.
Store closures are the latest upheaval for the company which last month announced the departure of chief executive Hamish Paton.
Like many high street retailers, BrightHouse has also taken a hit from higher rent and rates, as well as a rising minimum wage and lower footfall in town centres.
A BrightHouse spokesperson said: “We are working to redeploy as many people as possible into alternative roles, but redundancies will be inevitable.
“We will be speaking to all customers affected by the store closures and either transferring them to another local store or serving them online.“
The full list of BrightHouse stores closing: