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127 jobs lost in Brandon as wholesaler Palmer & Harvey goes into administration

PUBLISHED: 08:07 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:52 29 November 2017

Palmer & Harvey has a regional depot in Brandon. Picture: Palmer & Harvey

Palmer & Harvey has a regional depot in Brandon. Picture: Palmer & Harvey

Archant

More than 120 people have been made redundant in Brandon after troubled wholesaler Palmer & Harvey went into administration.

Around 2,500 of the company’s 3,400 staff across the country have lost their jobs, joint administrators at PwC confirmed, with the remaining 900 at risk.

Staff at the Brandon depot – one of 14 the group has in the UK – were told this evening that administrators had been called in and 127 of the 148 staff at the Wimbledon Avenue site were made redundant. The remainder will stay with the business to assist administrators in winding it up.

The group delivers goods to 90,000 grocery and convenience store, including Tesco and Costcutter.

However, the collapse is likely to cause disruption for hundreds of convenience stores across Norfolk and Suffolk who will need to find new suppliers in the run-up to the busy Christmas period.

Palmer & Harvey had been working to shore up its finances for most of this year. Administrators PwC said in a statement that cash flow pressures and a failure to secure additional funding to support the business were to blame.

Matthew Callaghan, joint administrator at PwC, said: “The Palmer & Harvey name has been a trusted partner for retailers and suppliers for nearly 100 years. This is a devastating blow for everyone who has been involved in the business.

“The administration team will focus on working with employees, clients and suppliers to facilitate a smooth and effective wind-down or transfer of operations over the next few weeks.”

Staff were paid their wages in November, said administrators, “with the support of its secured creditors”.

The Palmer & Harvey Group operates a delivery network of regional distribution centres which supplies up to 12,000 product lines, and through P&H Direct provides product delivery services to independent retailers and food outlets. Within the wholesale business, 450 staff have been kept on.

The administrators are looking to sell P&H Direct Van Sales, P&H Sweetdirect and P&H Snacksdirect, all subsidiaries of Palmer & Harvey McLane (Holdings) Ltd, across which businesses a further 450 staff have been retained.

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