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Time Computers has shut 22 stores.

The outlets include flagship stores in London's Piccadilly and Oxford Street.

Staff were told to go home yesterday.

The company has been selling off ex-demo PCs at £379 a pop in the last week. General manager Colin Silcock said all these stocks had virtually gone when we spoke to him on Monday. At the time he denied there were any store closures planned.

The stores being shut seem to be the high overhead stand alone outlets, with Time's concessions within Powerhouse being OK.

Time has been dogged by rumours about its financial situation over the last few months. These include refinancing its debt with its bank HSBC.

The stores that are shut are: Hanley, Bradford, Warrington, Lancaster, Liverpool x 2, Londonderry, Wimbledon, Piccadilly, Hammersmith, Oxford Street, Harrogate, Durham, Middlesbrough, Harlow, Chorlton, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Swansea, Hastings, Newbury, Basingstoke. ®

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