Hunter Kelly and Charles King of financial services provider EY’s restructuring team were appointed joint administrators of Crawshaw Group and its subsidiaries on 2 November.
Kelly confirmed that 354 members of staff have lost their jobs, but hoped that a sale of the business could save the remaining 261 roles in the company.
Crawshaw operated 42 high street butcher’s shops and 12 factory outlets. Administrators will continue to trade Crawshaw’s 19 profitable stores and its Hellaby, Rotherham processing and distribution centre as normal while looking for interested parties to come forward.
Commenting on the butcher’s fall into administration, Kelly said: “Crawshaw has not been immune to the well-documented issues on the high street, which have 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 in-store SPAR butchery offering.”
Crawshaw would have run out of cash due to the loss-making high street stores, making administration a necessity, claimed Kelly.
“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,” he added.
Struggling on the high street
Martin Lane, managing editor of credit broker Money.co.uk, said Crawshaw was just one in a long list of high street retailers that had been struggling.
“Anyone who works in the retail industry who may be worried about the future of their jobs should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” said Lane.
Crawshaw previously announced on 26 October that the board was considering a number of remedial actions, but had failed to raise sufficient capital to key issues identified in the company.
Meanwhile, Tesco’s termination of a Kerry Foods contract, threatening up to 1,000 jobs at its Burton-upon-Trent factory unless the business can be replaced, has been branded “brutal” by trade union Unite.