Grocery store group Haldanes Stores is to go into administration it was confirmed by the retailer’s CEO today.
Haldanes Stores operate 26 shops in the UK and employ around 600 staff members whose jobs are now in jeopardy due to the move, though the retailer says it will work hard to secure the future of its outlets.
It was also confirmed that Haldanes officially started legal proceedings against The Co-operative Group yesterday over the purchase of stores following the mutual’s takeover of Somerfield in 2008.
This dispute has been named as the major factor behind today’s fall into administration, as Haldanes claims that Co-op breached the terms of their agreement by misrepresenting the trading levels of the outlets it took on.
Arthur Harris, CEO of Haldanes, said: “The directors and I are devastated at having to take this step and our thoughts are with our employees who find themselves facing an uncertain future; we would like to publicly thank them for their efforts and loyalty during their time with Haldanes.
“I am absolutely distraught that it has come to this. We firmly believed that the Co-op would at least sit down with us and hear what we had to say, but they have chosen to either ignore or refuse all of our requests to meet. This has left us with nowhere else to go.”
The convenience stores owned by Haldanes trading under the UGO and Haldanes Express Limited brands will continue to operate as usual and are unaffected by this development, Harris explained.
This may be small comfort to the group however as it seems UGO has been struggling since it was launched earlier this year.
Several customers of UGO have contacted Retail Gazette to complain about the stock levels and prices at UGO stores in recent months, and it seems that Haldanes has been struggling in a very tough market.