Ah, another one bites the dust. First Woolworths, then Debenhams, now Budgens. It has been announced that owners of popular supermarket chain Budgens have collapsed into administration, followed by 800 job losses as the store is no longer open. Today, 815 staff will begin the redundancy process as others begin the mourn the loss of their favourite supermarket. Budgens was nowhere near as popular as other main competitors such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco, all part of the big 4, but for some, it was a reliable local and one that will be sorely missed. It has been reporters that the owners have been struggling to find a buyer for quite some time and due to it being no longer commercially viable to continue trade, many Budgens stores have closed their doors for the final time.
The store is currently owned by Food Retailer Group, who bought it from the Co-op in July and have said they are currently working closely with the Co-op and the relevant Government agencies so that they can make sure that all current employees of the supermarket will receive exactly what they are entitled to, which is full redundancy pay as well as practical and financial support. There were talks about the company making redundancies back in July when it got taken over but Food Retailer Group assured that none would be made and the company would continue to trade as normal. Until now. The Food Retailer group has, subsequently, for want of a better phrase’ gone bust’ along with all 36 of the Budgens it owns. Budgens, as a brand, want it to be known that they are disappointed in The Food Retailer but want it to be known that Budgens as a brand is still very much operating and going well and the current failure of The Food Retailer does not directly affect Budgens as a brand.
Nine of the stores due to close have closed over the weekend and it is expected that the remaining stores will close over the next two weeks – so if you live nearby – the time for a trolley dash is definitely now. The affected stores have been announced and they include stores in Totnes, New Brighton, Northumberland and Norwich, with the biggest number of staff affected by a single closure being in Gillingham Kent, where 37 workers will lose their jobs. The remaining stores and the overall Budgens brand is owned by wholesaler Booker but there are currently talks of it being taken over by Tesco which could potentially see their success and popularity increase significantly. You can visit the Budgens website for full details of what stores are closing in what area but it might be reassuring to know that 150 Budgens stores are to remain open. The 36 that are suffering from the closure have never really found their feet it would seem. First Somerfield, then Co-ops, then Budgens and now nothing – were they doomed from the very beginning? Although the staff were not affected in the beginning, it seems that this closure is definitely final.