Grocery store chain My Local, which has a nationwide presence of 120 stores, is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy after filing a notice of intent to appoint KPMG as administrators.
The ominous move jeopardises the future of some 1,700 staff and ushers in a 10 day period of uncertainty whilst the business is temporarily protected from creditor’s demands.
Supermarket group Morrisons offloaded the business to retail veteran Mike Greene and Greybull Capital for £25m as recently as September, but may still be on the hook for as much as £20m in the form of lease obligations should things go belly up.
Many My Local outlets are poorly sited for traffic, occupying former Blockbuster Video stores on cheap rental agreements when that business folded.
Joanne McGuinness, national officer for the Usdaw union, commented: “My Local staff are devastated by the news that the company is going into administration. Having been sold by Morrisons last year, there was a mood of optimism that the new owners could turn around the business.
“We are talking to the company in a bid to save jobs and get the best deal for staff. In the meantime, Usdaw is providing the support, advice and representation they need at this unsettling time.”
At its peak Morrisons managed 140 My Local stores employing 2,300 people but a period of retrenchment has seen the business steadily scale back.