Usdaw calls on Camelot not to pull the rug from under The Food Retailer as administrators seek a buyer

Date: 16 February 2017 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is concerned that Camelot could withdraw lottery tickets sales from The Food Retailer stores and welcomes the administrator’s reassurances that they will be paid.
Last year the Food Retailer Group Limited, bought a subsidiary company from the Co-operative Group. This subsidiary, since renamed The Food Retailer Operations Limited has 36 trading stores and a number of non-trading properties.

They launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal, but it was voted down by creditors. The
company is now in administration under PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who are seeking a purchaser for the stores.

John Gorle - Usdaw National Officer says: “The livelihoods of hundreds of shopworkers are on the line and it is
crucial that we do everything possible to help keep the stores trading and save jobs by finding a buyer.

“Ending the sale of lottery tickets in The Food Retailer’s outlets could jeopardise finding a buyer.
It is important at this early stage of the administration that stores are shown to be viable and the lottery does encourage footfall. So I am urgently contacting Camelot to ask them to hold off any decision to withdraw, given the administrators assurances, so we have a decent chance to save jobs and keep stores open.

“So far, we have had successful discussions with the Co-op, who are committed to providing support for staff and possible redeployment opportunities if the worst happens. We continue to explore all avenues to help members stay in employment.

“In the meantime our team of Usdaw reps and officials are providing the support, advice and representation members need at this very worrying time.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Locations of stores at risk: Aberystwyth, Basingstoke, Birmingham, Blackburn, Buckley, Cardigan, Christchurch,
Crewkerne, Dagenham, Erith, Gillingham, Greenwich - London, Helston, Littlehampton, Ludlow, Monmouth, Newport, Norwich, Nottingham, Paisley, Plumstead - London, Prestwick, Rochford, Shaftesbury, Sheffield, South
Benfleet, Southall - London, St. Neots, Sydenham - London, Tiverton, Totnes, Walsall, Watton, Weymouth, Wirral, Wisbech.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers