Foodland Associates Ltd (FAL) may be looking to sell its New Zealand department store chain, Farmers

FAL completed the acquisition of Farmers in December 1993 and it is now New Zealand’s only national department store chain.

According to the New Zealand Sunday Star Times, New Zealand businessman Eric Watson is looking to purchase Farmers and preliminary talks are underway.

Comments made by the company to Dow Jones Newswires refuted the media report. When asked about the Farmers story, Foodland MD Trevor Coates said: “I know nothing about it, there haven’t been any talks with Watson, and Farmers isn’t on the market”.

Farmers operates 65 stores throughout New Zealand together with a consumer credit card business, Retail Financial Services. Robert Laidlaw originally established the company as a mail order business in 1909.