Closure of Budgens store on Plumstead Road in Norwich leaves 18 people without jobs

The Budgens store on Plumstead Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Budgens store on Plumstead Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Eighteen people have lost their jobs following the closure of a Budgens supermarket in Norwich.

The Plumstead Road store shut on Sunday after its operator, Food Retailer Operations Limited (FROL), went into administration.

It is one of nine FROL-owned convenience stores across the UK which closed over the weekend.

Joint administrators Michael Denny, Robert Moran and Matthew Hammond of PwC said they were unable to find a buyer for any of the stores.

The closure also means that a recently installed community public access defibrillator (CAPD) on the Norwich store will have to be relocated.

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Mr Denny, from PwC, said: 'Unfortunately, we have been unable to find buyers for these nine stores and it is not commercially viable to continue trading them.

'We are working with the Co-op, USDAW and the relevant government agencies to ensure that the employees affected receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process.

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'We are continuing to trade the rest of the stores, with a focus on engaging with interested parties and assessing options.'

FROL operates 34 convenience stores across the UK, which trade under the Budgens brand and employs 872 people.

It also holds the leasehold interests in a further 36 non-trading stores, two non-trading properties and the head office of the former Somerfield business.

A spokesman for PwC said the company had experienced 'difficult trading conditions' since its acquisition of the stores from Co-op in July 2016.

'This has resulted in the company being placed into administration despite sustained efforts to make the business more commercially viable,' the spokesman added.

A defibrillator installed on the wall of the Budgens store will now have to be moved to another site on Plumstead Road.

It was purchased just months ago by resident Jilly Cutting, who was supported by customers of the Windmill Pub, on Knox Road, as well as local businesses.

She said it could be moved to Archer's Butchers or the hardware store Richardsons of Norwich, also on Plumstead Road.

• Is your business under threat of closure? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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