KPMG has taken control of UK convenience store chain My Local after its collapse left more than 1000 without a job.
As administrator, KPMG has already closed 93 of the chain’s 125 stores.
Mark Orton, partner at KPMG and joint administrator at My Local, said: companies across the convenience store sector have faced significant challenges in recent times, through increasing competition, pricing pressures, changes in customers’ buying habits and general structural change within the sector.
A price war between German discounters Aldi and Lidl and local supermarket groups has also amplified the traditional pricing gap between supermarkets and convenience stores.
“Since taking over the business in October last year, management have faced tough trading conditions and despite their best efforts to improve performance, My Local was ultimately unable to return to viability,” said Orton.
“Having explored a number of other options, the directors were unable to find a way forward and took the difficult decision to place the company into administration.
“Although the majority of stores have now closed, we are in active discussions with a number of interested parties in relation to both the remaining 32 premises that are trading and a small number of those that have closed. We are pursuing these opportunities as a matter of priority in the hope that we will be able to conclude successful sales and safeguard as many jobs as possible.”
Richard Lim, CEO of Retail Economics, said the collapse of My Local is further evidence of the turbulent times facing British retailers. He expects things to get tougher yet.
“The vote to leave the EU will heighten uncertainty on the retail industry and cast a spotlight on businesses overly reliant on the good times. We are entering uncharted waters with Brexit and our recent poll showed 61 per cent of consumers feel that their personal finances will worsen in the coming months.
“With confidence on a knife-edge, consumers will boost savings and rein in spending on non-essentials which will leave some retailers facing unnerving declines in sales and precarious financial positions.”