I’ve had more calls this year from retailers deciding to sell their business than any other time that I can remember. So I would like to repeat a warning that I last ran a year ago concerning a business transfer agent that seems to do Sweet Fanny Adams for the clients that it manages to persuade onto its books.
The company is RTA, well known to both Convenience Store and The Daily Mirror. Between 2006 and 2013 I regularly reported on retailers’ barneys with RTA (many of them ending up in court) and so did the Daily Mirror which conducted quite a campaign on the subject. Quite a few retailers won (in last year’s case, RTA backed out). But some did not.
In the cases I covered the company signed stores up, stuck them on a website, waited for a while, then when there was no interest withdrew them from the market and charged, as per their T&Cs, a large sum of money. When this resulted in a horrified response the claim was sometimes halved - to avoid court proceedings. But it’s still big money.
The most recent case to consult this column last month has decided to settle to avoid further hassle. That’s her choice.
I directed her, as I direct all callers about RTA, to the website www.cebta.org.uk/
Cebta stands for Campaign for Ethics for Business Transfer Agents and the site was built by clients of RTA. On the site you can see details of the latest (2017) case, which the retailer won.