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Haldanes Stores file for administration

Haldanes Stores, the UK’s newest supermarket chain, has announced that it has filed for administration. The move will see most of the 26 stores close with the loss of 600 jobs.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Haldanes Stores file for administration

Haldanes Stores, the UK’s newest supermarket chain, has announced that it has filed for administration. The move will see most of the 26 stores close with the loss of 600 jobs.

Chief executive Arthur Harris said: “Following advice from our lawyers and an insolvency practitioner, we have made the decision to seek an administration order for Haldanes Stores Limited and Ruston Retail Limited in order to protect our position.

“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. We will work closely with the administrator and do our utmost to secure the future of a group of stores in the Haldanes estate.”

The announcement comes after Haldanes issued proceedings against the Co-operative Group in May 2011, following its purchase of 26 stores from the retailer last year.

Harris added: “We have made countless attempts to negotiate with the Co-operative Group Limited over the last nine months, all to no avail. As a result, we issued proceedings in the High Court against the Co-op on 10 May 2011. We lodged full details of these proceedings with the High Court and its solicitors yesterday (8 June 2011).

“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 directors and I would like to assure employees and suppliers of Haldane Retail Group Limited, UGO Stores Limited, Haldanes Express Limited and Bakery Products Limited that these businesses are unaffected by this development and will continue to trade as normal.”

The  Co-operative Group said: “The Co-operative Group regrets that Haldanes has taken the decision to seek an administration order.

“Haldanes is substantially indebted to the Group due to its failure to pay rents owing to us. We have acted in good faith throughout our dealings with the business, including providing significant financial support during its start-up phase. Any legal action will be contested vigorously.

“Most recently, we carefully considered a proposal from Haldanes that we provide further financial support to help them through their current difficulties. We regrettably decided, however, that given what appeared to be the levels of the issues facing Haldanes, we could not proceed.”

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