Booths considering offers after 170 years of trading

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Northern supermarket chain Booths, known as the ’Waitrose of the North’, could soon see a change in ownership after 170 years of trading under the same family.

Established in 1847, the upmarket retailer has a total of 28 stores across Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. According to The Sunday Times, the company has brought in advisers from investment bank Rothschild to consider any takeover bids. 

Analysts estimate the sale could fetch between £130m-£150m. The Booth family own 96% of the company’s shares and the business is run by executive chairman and chief executive Edwin Booth.

A spokeswomen for Booths, said: ”Booths has been retailing for over 170 years and it remains a very strong, resilient and well-loved brand. One of our strengths has been our ability to adapt to changing market conditions.”

Former ceo Chris Dee stepped down from his role at the company in May, after 22 years of service. A cost-cutting drive by Booths in 2015 led to the loss of 100 jobs and a one-off charge of £1.6m. The retailer reported a £6.3m loss in 2016, down from a £1.1m profit the previous year.

Booths was also badly hit by Storm Desmond in December 2015, which caused damage to several of its stores. Accountants were called in to conduct a financial health check of the business after the company issued a profit warning earlier this year.

Despite being hit by rising costs and inflation, the northern retailer recently signed a deal to sell its products on the Amazon Fresh grocery platform.

 

 

Readers' comments (3)

  • Has anyone other than the media ever referred to Booths as the Waitrose of the North? Booths was founded, before Waitrose, by Edwin Booth and has always been owned by the Booth family. There never was anyone called Waitrose and the business has been owned by the John Lewis Partnership for much of its life. Similarities?

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  • Speaking of Waitrose would Booths be a good fit for them, and do they already have stores in Booths locations or would that move them into new areas?

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  • Have always admired Booths for their quality and standards but could never understand why it never grew to more than 28 stores...clearly in need of some fresh thinking and investment -
    someone like Waitrose would be a good fit for them.

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