DOZENS of angry traders have been collecting their items from the Winchester branch of Molly’s Den that collapsed last week.

The business, where independent traders rent stalls to sell vintage, retro and antique goods, plunged into liquidation.

The owner of the business John East-Rigby died of a gunshot wound to his head in May at his New Forest home.

Stallholders at the Easton Lane site have been given between July 8, 9 and 10 to remove their things.

Trader Mallory Grace was at the Winchester collection yesterday, and told the Daily Echo she had been selling at the emporium in Winnall for just over a year.

She described the situation as “a disgrace”.

Molly’s Den traders had just paid their July rental, which can be up to £500 a month for the largest pitches shortly before the collapse.

Mallory believes she is owed around £800, which she described as “a serious amount of money for small business owners”.

She said the debts were made up of the rent, and money from the previous month’s sales. Molly’s Den collect the money made by traders at the branch and take a monthly cut of 2.5 per cent, before paying it back to them.

Mallory said: “I just can’t believe they took the rent on the Monday, and announced closure the following day. They would’ve known what was going on well in advance, which is why everyone here is very annoyed.

“When John died, there was an email sent around asking for us to be patient as things were sorted out, which we did with no questions asked. But now this is a kick in the teeth – a betrayal – and even if someone does take over, the trust just isn’t there anymore.”

Mallory added: “Thankfully, I don’t have all my eggs in one basket, and sell a lot of things at Robin’s Nest emporium in Fareham, too. But one of the men I spoke to yesterday has to pack in his business completely because of this.”

Liquidators RSM Restructuring Advisory said it had been instructed to assist in placing M D Emporium, the company which owns the Molly’s Den brand, into liquidation.