“Devastating” – Jobs lost across as Budgens stores in Norwich, Watton and Wisbech close

PUBLISHED: 09:07 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 March 2017

The Budgens store on Plumstead Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Budgens store on Plumstead Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

More than 800 jobs have been lost after the owner of 34 Budgens stores collapsed into administration.

Food Retailer Group, an arm of business restructuring specialists Hilco Capital, appointed PwC as administrator last month but the accountancy firm has failed to find a buyer for the group.

A total of 815 staff have begun the redundancy process.

These include 18 at the Norwich store on Plumstead Road, 23 at Watton, both of which have closed, and 25 at Wisbech which closes on Thursday.

Mike Denny, joint administrator at 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.”

Food Retailer Group bought the stores from the Co-operative Group in July.

At the time the firm said “there are no planned redundancies” and stores will continue “trading as usual”.

John Gorle, Usdaw national officer, said: “This is devastating news for the 800 staff affected. It was clearly the beginning of the end when a small number of landlords managed to narrowly block the CVA.

“I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Co-op about possible redeployment opportunities and we will explore all avenues to help members seek alternative employment. In the meantime our team of Usdaw reps and officials are providing the support, advice and representation our members need.”

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