Owner of 34 Budgens stores enters administration

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Thirty-four Budgens stores face an uncertain future after the company that acquired them from the Co-operative last year went into administration on Friday (10 February).

Michael Denny, Robert Moran and Matthew Hammond of PwC have been appointed as Joint Administrators of Food Retailer Operations Limited (FROL).

FROL bought the former Somerfield stores from the Co-operative in July 2016, but the company has since experienced difficult trading conditions. The stores, which were converted to the Budgens fascia upon purchase, employ 872 people.

Mike Denny, joint administrator, PwC, said: “FROL has faced significant headwinds in the form of pricing pressures, intense competition and structural change across the food retail sector.

“We are continuing to trade all 34 stores, whilst engaging with interested parties for the sites and the other leasehold interests of the company. We will work closely with the employees over the coming weeks.”

The Co-op has offered to find jobs for its former employees in the 36 affected stores. 

Helen Webb, director of HR, Food Retail, at the Co-op, said: “We’re sorry that the company has gone in to administration, and we want to do everything we can to assist former colleagues.  

“If no buyer can be found for the stores, we will make every effort to help find alternative employment for those affected.  In addition, we have protected the pension rights of former colleagues, and are ensuring former Co-op colleagues receive the full redundancy pay they would have been entitled to when working at the Co-op.”

FROL also holds the leasehold interests in a further 36 non-trading stores, two non-trading properties and the head office of the former Somerfield business.

The Budgens stores are listed below:

Gillingham - Kent

Sydenham Rd

Rochford - Roche Close

Northumberland Heath

Norwich - Plumstead

South Benfleet - High Rd

Becontree

Southall - London

Greenwich - High Road

Littlehampton - Wick St

Watton

Sherwood - Mansfield Rd

Newport - Shropshire

Weoley Castle

Blackburn MSA

New Invention

Buckley - Brunswick Rd

New Brighton

Wisbech

St Neots

Paisley

Prestwick

Aberystwyth

Crewkerne - Falklands Sq

Helston - The Parade

Monmouth - Oldway Centre

Cardigan - Lower Mwldan

Totnes - Fore St

Basingstoke - Winklebury Way

Ludlow

Weymouth - Littlemoor Rd

Shaftesbury - Bell St

Christchurch - Saxon Sq

Tiverton - Market Walk 

Readers' comments (3)

  • Is the Swanage store included,?? Good local store.

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  • The people who work in a store near me have said they have been told not to come back after the 27th and all they are getting is £1000. so they dont seem to be getting full redundancy pay...

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  • Good to hear that the Coop will help those made redundant, but as with Jess (above) that message doesn't seem to have reached the staff in my local store (Greenwich.)
    Hope the Coop will reach out to those affected -quickly.

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