Haldanes closes with loss of 15 jobs

Haldanes Store East Muirlands Road, Arbroath.
Haldanes Store East Muirlands Road, Arbroath.

THE HALDANES store at East Muirlands Road, Arbroath, closed on Tuesday with the loss of 15 jobs.

The local closure was repeated at another 19 stores across the country.

Following advice, the owners of Haldanes Stores Ltd., had made the decision to seek an administration order for the business in order to protect their position.

Arthur Harris, chief executive officer of Haldanes Stores, stated: “The directors and I are devastated at having to take this step and our thoughts are with our employees in Arbroath 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 assured employees and suppliers of Haldane Retail Group Ltd., UGO Stores Ltd., Haldanes Express Ltd., and Bakery Products Ltd., that these businesses are unaffected by this development and will continue to trade as normal.

The former Somerfield supermarket at East Muirlands Road re-opened in February last year as part of the new Haldane supermarket chain.

Haldanes was launched in November, 2009, and only a month later had acquired 18 stores stretching from Wick to the Midlands of England.

When the Somerfield group was acquired by The Co-op, the deal was approved by the Office of Fair Trading only on condition that The Co-op disposed of certain stores in towns where it already had a strong presence. This included the Arbroath retail outlet.

Haldane took over 15 of the stores in Scotland and the Arbroath one was the sixth to re-open under its new logo.

At the time Mr Harris said: “This deal is great news for Arbroath because it guarantees the future of the store and will give people in the community a refreshing new shopping experience.”

Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South, commented: “It is very disappointing news, both for the staff affected and for local customers. It is sad for the staff who will no longer have a job, and especially given the short notice.

“Obviously there is the prospect of shop-related employment coming to the town later this year with the arrival of ASDA, and this provides some potential hope in what is a very difficult situation for staff with the closure of Haldanes.”

Councillor Donald Morrison added: “The closure of Haldanes comes on the back of the closure of a number of retail units throughout the town and will be another retail loss and a jobs blow for Arbroath.

“Due to its unique location Haldanes and previously, Somerfield, was a fairly busy shop, especially as it was ideal for those heading home. I certainly would pop in regularly after work because it was very handy.

“Hopefully, given its location in the town, away from the other superstores, another retailer may be keen to take it over, perhaps the likes of Iceland, whose loss to the town after moving out of the Abbeygate is still felt by residents.”