Crawshaw axes over 350 jobs and closes 35 stores

Hunter Kelly of Ernst & Young
Hunter Kelly of Ernst & Young
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​Butchery chain Crawshaw Group has made over 350 people redundant and closed 35 stores after appointing Ernst & Young as administrator.

The Rotherham-based firm will continue to trade from 19 stores which will remain open and trade as normal, s​aving 261 jobs.
Last week the company was advised to appoint administrators after several years of financial losses and an unsuccessful attempt to raise the investment required to fund a restructuring plan.
Crawshaw said Hunter Kelly and Charles King, both of Ernst & Young, were appointed joint administrators last Friday.
The group said its distribution centre at Astley has been closed and its remaining businesses are being serviced and supplied from the group’s distribution centre at Hellaby.
In a statement the group said: "As a result of the store closures it has been necessary to restructure the workforce for economic, organisational and technical reasons.
"This has resulted in 354 redundancies with the group continuing to employ 261 staff to trade from, support and supply the 19 stores that remain open and operational as well as supply the three butcher’s counters which are being trialed in Spar stores and the wholesale operations."
Nine of the 19 stores that are still trading are factory stores.
The joint administrators said they have offered Crawshaw’s business and assets for sale and have entered into discussions with interested parties "with a view to agreeing a sale over the coming weeks".
Crawshaw said interested parties who have not yet commenced discussions should contact the joint administrators for further information at​ ​hkelly@uk.ey.com and cking@uk.ey.com.
Mr Kelly said: “Crawshaw has not been immune to the well documented issues on the high street, which has resulted in a number of stores becoming loss making. Despite the new management team’s best efforts, it was not possible to raise additional investment to restructure the business by reducing the number of high street stores and expanding its successful factory shop format and instore Spar butchery offering.
"As a result the group would have run out of cash due to the loss making high street stores and therefore administration was necessary. Crawshaw’s out of town factory store format has proved to be successful and we are hopeful that a purchaser can be found who can take forward management’s plan for these profitable stores.”
He said that employees affected by redundancy are being offered appropriate advice and support in making claims from the Redundancy Payments Office for outstanding wages, as well as redundancy and notice pay. They have been or will be paid their outstanding wages as normal.
Mr Kelly added: “It is with regret that 354 people have been made redundant. We hope to conclude a sale to preserve the remaining 261 jobs.”
The firm's shares were suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM market last week.
According to its latest set of results for the six months to July 29, the group posted revenue of £21.6m and a pre-tax loss of £1.7m.
Food mogul Ranjit Boparan holds a near 30 per cent stake in the business and his 2 Sisters Food Group also supplies Crawshaw.
The "chicken king" - so-called because of 2 Sisters' large-scale involvement in the poultry trade - is also an adviser to the board.