At least 12 staff members at the Budgens branded store in Crewkerne will lose their jobs when the shop closes within the next four weeks. The company Food Retailer Operations Limited (FROL) who have been operating the supermarket under a franchise agreement since July 2016, went into administration on Friday February 10th.
Michael Denny, Robert Moran and Mathew Hammond of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) were appointed as Joint Administrators. Staff members in the Crewkerne store are shocked at how fast things have moved since Friday towards liquidation. It was understood that the liquidation would be confirmed on Friday of this week but posters arrived this morning, for staff to display in the shop’s windows, in Falkland Square, announcing that the Liquidation Sale was already in progress and there were only days left before it would close.
Crewkerne Headlines And Topics has spoken in depth to an employee at the Crewkerne store, who is acting as a spokesperson for the staff. He confirmed that they were all thoroughly disgusted at the way in which they had been treated by FROL and had not been kept up to date on recent developments. No-one from Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive Allied Workers) had been in contact or visited them, to provide support, advice and representation. The Co-op Group (Food Retail) who have reportedly pledged their support for all former Co-op employees at the store had not been in touch either to confirm redundancy payments for their former employees, up to the time that they had ceased working for the Co-op.
The Crewkerne store is one of 36 former Co-op stores in the UK which was transferred to Hilco last Summer, converted to the Budgens brand and operated by FROL. Crewkerne Headlines And Topics understands that the other 35 affected stores are facing closure within the same time frame, as PwC have been unable to find a buyer for all or any of the 36 stores.