Pet store shuts as chain enters administration

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THE Leven branch of Acorn Pets (UK) Ltd. was among the immediate casualties when the chain slid into administration for the second time in under two years.

Nine jobs have been lost at Riverside Road - a combination of full-time, part-time and weekend posts.

The business was placed in the hands of joint administrators David Menzies and Pamela Coyne, of Begbies Traynor, on April 27 after a sustained period of poor trading.

The administrators straight away closed the Leven store and 15 others across Scotland, with the loss of 122 full and part-time jobs.

They aimed to rescue the remaining six shops and and safeguard 41 jobs.

In Fife, only the Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline (Duloch Park) outlets are continuing to trade, with the other Kingdom branches axed being Dalgety Bay, Glenrothes and St Andrews.

The Leven shop, right, was thought to have a “positive future”, along with the other Acorn outlets in Scotland that evaded closure in 2009.

But Mr Menzies explained: “The business has struggled to recover from the administration in 2009 and the resulting cash constraints, and the management team, have been unable to make the business work in the face of increasing competition, particularly from supermarkets.”

The directors of the firm took ownership of Acorn Pets (UK) after the business was bought by its management from the previous administrator, Tenon, in September 2009.

“The business has struggled since the MBO and, unfortunately, with increasing losses and no cash available to pay wages, we were unable to save the stores that were losing money,” added Mr Menzies.

“We are already seeking a buyer for the scaled-down business and we hope that, without the drain on resources of the loss-making stores, we will be able to secure a long-term future for the six remaining outlets.”