Posted: 04/09/2017

Booths quells “speculation” on financial problems

BoothsUpmarket grocery chain Booths has played down national media reports that its banks have called in accountants to review its finances after a loss-making period.

Often referred to as “the Waitrose of the North”, the retailer condemned speculation from unnamed sources in the press about the health of the business and it is understood the group has not breached, or come near to breaching, its banking covenants.

Edwin Booth, executive chairman and chief executive, said Booths was a resilient 170-year-old family-owned retailer with strong brand loyalty and leadership.

“These are turbulent times for the retail industry, which is rife with conjecture and speculation,” he said.

Booths has found itself, in common with other grocery industry players, squeezed by the phenomenal growth of German discounters Aldi and Lidl and an increasingly price-conscious consumer.

The chain, which has 28 stores, also suffered damage to several outlets during Storm Desmond two years ago and its latest accounts showed a £6.3m annual loss.

Edwin Booth said the business had an effective plan and team in place to ensure it remained “a much-loved retailer” for its customers in the North.

“We’re focusing on delivering the best service, products and value to our customers,” he added.

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