Country store closes after acquisition fails

March 26 2018

THE long established Countrywide store on the edge of Thornbury is closing down after the retailer went into administration.

THE long established Countrywide store on the edge of Thornbury is closing down after the retailer went into administration.

The store was one of 48 in the Countrywide chain that had been expected to be acquired by Mole Valley Farmers in a deal originally expected to be completed by the end of January.

But the sale was subject to review by the Competition and Markets Authority, which announced it would carry out an investigation that could take up to six months to complete.

Countrywide said it would be unable to meet its financial obligations for that length of time and called in administrators from KPMG.

David Pike, Mark Orton and Will Wright were appointed joint administrators and at the time they said it was their intention to seek a buyer for the business in whole or part.

They said: “We have appointed Hilco Capital to assist in running the stores whilst we explore and develop available options.”

However, signs then went up at the Thornbury branch - and at others - announcing a closing down sale.

Countrywide employed a total of about 750 people, who had been expected to transfer to Mole Valley if that deal had gone ahead.

A statement from the Countrywide directors said: “Following their appointment, the administrators will determine the appropriate course of action and future for the business.

“It is with significant regret that the Countrywide retail business, which trades from 48 stores and employs more than 700 staff, will now face a very uncertain future.”