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Sandip Patel re-opens former Finlays (North-East) store in Darlington
A NEW owner has taken over a branch of a collapsed newsagent, whose closure left scores of North-East workers looking for new jobs.
Sandip Patel has taken over the former Finlays (North-East) Limited store in Prebend Row, Darlington.
The company suddenly ceased trading in October, with staff left shocked as its regional outlets were closed and newspapers and magazines left on display inside for days afterwards.
However, Mr Patel has re-opened the Prebend Row shop, which he says he will re-brand, and has re-employed former workers.
It is not known if any buyers are interested in the remaining Finlays outlets.
Mr Patel said: “I used to work in London at my family's shop and this location and shop were perfect for me.
“I have taken on workers and will be changing the name too.”
Last year, Finlays put a dozen of its 20 shops on the market, including outlets in Newcastle, Sunderland and Gateshead, in a restructure to operate with budget off-licence chain Bargain Booze.
It also raised worries over the long-term future of the newsagent industry, with its financial report for the year to March last year revealing operating losses of £188,903.
William Gandy, Finlays' company director, did not respond to The Northern Echo's previous attempts to contact him.
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