Wednesday 8 March 2017

Budgens Closing It's 34 Stores With 815 Job Losses


Budget supermarket Budgens are closing 34 of its stores leaving more than 800 workers without jobs.

Food Retailer Operations Limited (FROL), an arm of business restructuring specialists Hilco Capital, appointed PwC as administrator last month after experiencing 'difficult trading conditions'.

But the accountancy firm has failed to find a buyer for the group.

A total of 815 staff have begun the redundancy process.

Administrators are closing the convenience stores only nine months after the supermarket was bought from the Co-op.

Twenty-two stores have been closed so far with another 12 set to be closed by Thursday, affecting 319 jobs.

A statement posted today said: “Since its acquisition of the stores from Co-op in July 2016, the Company had experienced difficult trading conditions. This resulted in the Company being placed into administration despite sustained efforts to make the business more commercially viable.

“Following their appointment, the Administrators have been assessing interest in the business. As a result, following the closure of nine stores at the weekend, the remaining 25 stores will, regrettably, cease trading over the course of the next two weeks with the loss of the remaining 611 jobs.”


Mike Denny, Joint Administrator, PwC, said: “Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a buyer and it is not commercially viable to continue trading the stores.

“We are working closely with the Co-op, USDAW and the relevant government agencies to ensure that all employees receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process.”

The Budgens brand is owned by food wholesale company Booker and is being taken over by Tesco.

Last year, Marks & Spencer revealed it would be shutting 30 outlets around the UK and converting 45 others to Simply Food stores due to similar struggles and plunging half-year profits.

It will also shut 53 stores across 10 international markets - including 10 in China and seven in France, while pulling out of Belgium, Estonia, Hungary and Lithuania - putting around 2,100 jobs at risk.

In July, M&S announced its clothing arm suffered its worst performance for more than a decade as it cut back on promotions, with sales plummeting 8.9%.


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