Jobs cut as food retailer announces closures

Budgens in Wick Street, Littlehampton is closing down. Picture: Google Streetview
Budgens in Wick Street, Littlehampton is closing down. Picture: Google Streetview

Supermarket chain Budgens has confirmed it will be closing its store in Littlehampton as one of the chain’s operators was placed into administration.

Food Retailer Operations Limited – which owns 34 of the 150 Budgens stores across the UK – was placed into administration last month due to ‘difficult trading conditions’.

The company acquired the stores from the Co-op in July 2016.

All 34 stores owned by the operator are now due to close meaning 815 people across the UK are set to lose their job.

The Budgens store, in Wick Street, Littlehampton, will close its doors on Thursday (March 9), affecting 16 members of staff.

A spokesman for Budgens said: “Budgens is a brand which operates 150 stores as a symbol group. The business is performing very strongly.

“In July 2016 The Food Retailer Operations Limited (TFR) bought 34 stores from the Co-op and traded them under the Budgens brand.

“TFR have recently gone into administration. This means they are currently in consultation with their 800 colleagues.

“We are disappointed that TFR are in this position but this does not affect Budgens or its colleagues.”

Budgens has confirmed that other stores across West Sussex are safe from closure.

The stores located in Henfield, Upper Beeding, Horsham, Hassocks, Easebourne and Midhurst are currently owned by independent retailers and are not at risk.

Michael Denny, Robert Moran and Matthew Hammond of PwC were appointed as Joint Administrators of Food Retailer Operations Limited on February 10, 2017.

The company said it had experienced difficult trading conditions resulting in 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 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.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.