More than 800 jobs have been lost after the owner of 34 Budgens stores failed to find a buyer to save it from collapse.
As a result, a total of 815 staff have commenced the redundancy process.
Food Retailer Operations Limited, the owner of the 34 stores affected – a third of Budgens outlets – was put in administration last month after enduring “difficult” trading conditions.
The firm appointed PwC as administrator but they have failed to find a buyer for affected stores and were looking for firms to take over stores’ leases.
Nine of the 34 stores closed last weekend and the remaining 25 will close down within the next fortnight.
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 Operations Limited bought the affected stores from the Co-operative Group in July.
At the time, they said “there are no planned redundancies” and stores would continue “trading as usual”.
The Budgens brand is owned by food wholesale giant Booker, which recent confirmed it would be acquired by Tesco.