Walsall home and garden store JTF closes to shock of customers
A home and garden store that opened at a cost of £1.5 million in the Black Country has closed its doors after five years.
Customers arrived at JTF Mega Discount Warehouse at Bescot Retail Park, Walsall, to find about a dozen staff and contractors dismantling the shelves and packing up stock inside.
The outlet based in Bescot Crescent opened in November 2014 with bosses promising to create dozens of new jobs.
Today several customers had a wasted journey after arriving to find a closure notice stuck to the glass entrance doors.
Dave Hickman, aged 53, a caretaker, of Yew Tree Estate, Walsall, said: "I came in a week or so ago to ask about some fencing and the staff advised me to pop back, so I came this morning to find they have closed.
"It's come as a big shock because I like shopping here.
"They had a good variety of stock and I used to bring the grand kids down to pick their Christmas presents.
"They stock absolutely everything that you could think of.
"I feel sorry for the staff who have lost their jobs. I knew two people who worked here. It's ridiculous. a similar thing happened to me when I worked for a window company and it closed down. It was soul destroying because we'd got a mortgage to pay and kids to feed."
Mr Hickman added that children's games at JTF cost half the price of other chains and that items crisps multi packs were about £1 cheaper even with the VAT on top.
Joe Smith, a retired serviceman, of Wednesbury, said: "I'm a keen gardener and I like roses. You could also at one time get breakfast here for £1.
"I am sad that it's closed, but I'm not very surprised because it's been looking a bit empty recently. I have had a few bargains, but you did have to be careful to add the VAT on the price ticket."
Gurdeve Sangha, 53, a bank worker, of Devonshire Road, Smethwick, hoped to pick up a few treats for her Siberian huskie called Phoenix.
Mrs Sangha said: "Our friend recommended it to us so we thought we'd pop in to buy some treats for the dog and we're planning to do some work on the house. Seems we've had a wasted journey.
"The sign says the nearest store is in Tamworth, but we're not going to drive all the way to Tamworth to buy dog treats."
Last year JTF marked its 40th anniversary with a series of deals, events, and product give-aways at the store.
JTF has yet to comment on the store's closure.