The Doncaster based business, founded in 1932, operated 80 stores, 26 sandwich vans and had more than 500 employees.
Administrator Deloitte blamed the failure on falling sales and rising manufacturing costs. Its partner for restructuring services Adrian Berry said: “Cooplands has seen a recent deterioration in trading performance across its retail business, which combined with a significant fixed manufacturing cost, has resulted in unsustainable losses.
‘Had to close 39 retail stores’
“Regrettably, we have had to close 39 retail stores, together with the bakery and head office in Doncaster.”
But the sale of 41 retail stores and the mobile sandwich van business will preserve 259 jobs, he added.
Cooplands’ head office and production site in Doncaster plus 39 stores will close.
Business restructuring specialist Resolve acquired both Cooplands’ 41 stores and its van delivery business.
Paul Davies, director of Resolve, said: “Resolve are pleased to announce the purchase of the majority of Cooplands (Doncaster) stores, preserving more than 260 jobs at the company.
“Cooplands will continue to focus on providing great customer service and the best quality products at competitive prices.”
Unite the union said Cooplands was a major employer in South Yorkshire and the job losses would be “a devastating blow”.
The union’s regional officer Shane Sweeting said: “These are jobs that are hardly likely to be replaced. They are long-standing employees, they have been there a lot of years and they will really struggle to find employment elsewhere.”
Labour Party leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband told The Star: “To see job losses of any number in Doncaster is disappointing, but the news of redundancies on this scale is a terrible blow for the area.”
Caroline Flint, Labour Don Valley MP, said: “It will be sad day if Cooplands disappears. This is a long-standing Doncaster firm which has been a mainstay of outlying towns.
Before going into administration, Cooplands wrote to its workers warning of the bakery’s financial difficulties. The letter advised: “We have all worked hard over the past 12 months to try and stem the losses, but unfortunately everybody’s efforts have been in vain.”
The losses were unsustainable, it added. “Unfortunately we now therefore have to consider the loss of job roles across all areas of the business,” the letter warned.
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