Haldanes has blamed the Co-op for "forcing" it to file an administration order

Haldanes has blamed the Co-op for "forcing" it to file an administration order

UK convenience store retailer Haldanes has filed for an administration order, with its CEO blaming larger rival The Co-operative Group for its problems.

Arthur Harris said today (9 June) that the company had decided to seek an administration order for Haldanes Stores and Ruston Retail to "protect our position".

The administration order covers the 23 convenience outlets operated by Haldanes Stores but not operations under the Haldane Retail Group umbrella, which is also owned by Harris but is run as a separate company.

"The directors and I are devastated at having to take this step and our thoughts are with our employees who find themselves facing an uncertain future; we would like to publicly thank them for their efforts and loyalty during their time with Haldanes. We will work closely with the administrator and do our utmost to secure the future of a group of stores in the Haldanes estate," he said.

Haldanes and the Co-op began legal proceedings against each other in early May, with Haldanes alleging "material breaches" by the Co-op. He also claimed that the Co-op had "breached" the undertakings it had given the Office of Fair Trading as part of its acquisition of the Somerfield chain.

The Co-op responded by saying that it had begun proceedings to recover possession of a number of the 26 stores over unpaid rent.

"I am absolutely distraught that it has come to this. We firmly believed that the Co-op would at least sit down with us and hear what we had to say, but they have chosen to either ignore or refuse all of our requests to meet. This has left us with nowhere else to go," said Harris.

"The directors and I would like to assure employees and suppliers of Haldane Retail Group Limited, UGO Stores Limited, Haldanes Express Limited and Bakery Products Limited that these businesses are unaffected by this development and will continue to trade as normal."