The ongoing struggles of shops on the nation's high streets has been named as one reason behind the shock closure of a Burnley butchers.
National meat retailer Crawshaws, which opened a branch in Burnley town centre in 2016, said it did not have "sufficient cash resources" to carry out a restructuring after it failed to raise funds from investors.
Now, joint administrators appointed to oversee the closure process, have cited loss making stores on the high street as being behind the problems.
Hunter Kelly, joint administrator, commented: “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.”
“We are continuing to trade 19 profitable stores and the Hellaby processing and distribution centre as normal and would encourage interested parties to come forward. Unfortunately it was necessary to immediately close 35 stores in mainly high street locations that were no longer viable, which resulted in 354 redundancies.”
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.
Concluding, Mr Kelly said: “It is with regret that 354 people have been made redundant. We hope to conclude a sale to preserve the remaining 261 jobs.”
Any parties interested in acquiring the business should contact the Joint Administrators.