Haldanes closes its doors in Fraserburgh

Haldanes in Saltoun Square ceased trading on Tuesday
Haldanes in Saltoun Square ceased trading on Tuesday

Haldanes in Saltoun Square ceased trading on Tuesday, after a ‘devastated’ chief executive Arthur Harris called in administrators last week.

The supermarket chain, which launched less than two years ago, took over the former Safeway and then Somerfield site in Saltoun Square in 2009.

News of the company’s decision to call in administrators came just weeks after Haldanes launched legal proceedings against the Co-op, citing an alleged lack of disclosure over the performance of several of the stores it had taken over.

It is understood that the shock announcement on June 8 came without any warning or consultation. In letters to store management, staff were advised that stores would cease trading on June 14 and that staff would be paid in full for the period from June 9 to June 14, but all other outstanding wages, holiday pay and statutory notice would have to be claimed by employees during the administration process.

However, there were earlier indications, as in the run up to the announcement last week stock appeared to be running down in the Fraserburgh branch and the company website also ceased functioning.

Speaking to the Herald, one member of staff who did not want to be named, said: “We were told on Wednesday night that the store was closing on Tuesday and have been informed that we will only receive pay from June 9 to 14 and that we will have to put in a claim to the administrator for the rest of our wages due.

“When Haldanes took over the Fraserburgh store in 2009 there were about 23 employees, now there are only 13 and we have all lost our jobs, it is a devastating blow to all of us.”

The Haldane group has 26 shops in the UK, 13 of them in Scotland, employing 600 people, it is understood that all stores except four based in England also ceased trading on Tuesday.

Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuiness said: “This is devastating news for our members but it certainly won’t have come as a complete shock to them.

“Our immediate priority is to support and represent our members through this very difficult and worrying time and we will be doing everything possible to help them secure alternative employment and to ensure they receive all monies and severance payments that they are entitled to.

“As there has been absolutely no consultation on the store closures and redundancies, as required by law, then we shall also be making a claim on behalf of our members for a protective award”