More than 200 employees of Countrwide Farmers Plc will lose their jobs due to the company going into administration.
The country and equestrian chain announced in March that administrators had been called in, with more than 700 staff facing an uncertain future.
Mole Valley Farmers Ltd had been in negotiations to buy out Countrywide’s retail arm, but this fell through following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the deal.
KPMG, one of the bodies handling the administration, announced on 24 March that 32 people were to be made redundant.
David Pike, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, today (17 May) added that this number “regrettably” now stands at 208 employees, while 14 Countrywide stores have been sold, safeguarding 169 jobs.
“As with the majority of administrations, redundancies are unavoidable and a total of 208 people have been made redundant at the company’s headquarters in Evesham, the Defford logistics centre and stores that have closed,” said Mr Pike.
“With no prospect of ‘going concern’ sales for 11 of the 15 remaining stores, these will be closing with a final trading date of 20 May 2018.
“All affected staff have been informed and will be paid up to and including their last day of employment.
“We are pleased that we have been able to trade the stores for this duration to allow the successful sales to take place.
“We’d like to thank every employee for the support and professionalism they have provided to the company, both before and during the administration.”
The 14 stores saved have been sold to various farming and agricultural retail companies, with 169 employees transferred to the new owners.
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Mr Pike said: “We are pleased that we have been able to safeguard the future of 14 stores, and moreover the jobs of 169 staff.
“We are hopeful that we’ll be able to achieve four further sales from the remaining trading leasehold stores.”
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