Updated: 29th November 2017
As many as 2,500 people have been made redundant in the immediate aftermath of the grocery and tobacco wholesaler Palmer & Harvey being entered into administration.
The business counted Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Costcutter among its customers and delivered goods to tens of thousands of grocery retailers and convenience stores throughout the UK.
However, bosses at Palmer & Harvey have been struggling to stave off financial crisis over the course of recent months and were eventually forced to call in administrators on November 28th.
A number of connected businesses operating as part of the P&H Group now face either closure or sale with the organisation as a whole having employed a total of close to 3,400 people until very recently.
Palmer & Harvey had operated via a network of 14 regional distribution centres but appointed administrators have made clear their intention to manage the company’s activities “to an orderly closure”.
Administrators have said that the P&H Group’s payroll for November will be settled in full but only 450 employees are being retained within its wholesaling operations.
A further 450 employees of the group’s other businesses are to be retained while potential buyers are sought for those operations, which include P&H Direct Van Sales Limited, P&H Sweetdirect Limited and P&H Snacksdirect Limited.
Palmer & Harvey has existed as a supplier of wholesale products to retailers for close to a century but all of its core operations are now set to be wound down entirely over the course of coming weeks.
Matthew Callaghan, one of the appointed administrators from PwC, noted in his statements on the matter that the P&H Group has been in need of “significant restructuring” and facing a “challenging trading environment” for some time.
“The company has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term and the directors have concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale,” he said.
“The administrators are working closely with employees affected by the closure of the business to ensure they receive the support they need during this difficult time to assist with their claims for redundancy and other compensatory payments.” We have an extensive network of 77 offices offering confidential director support across the UK.