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Gloucestershire Business News

Countrywide Farmers goes into administration

Rural goods chain, Countrywide Farmers, has collapsed, putting more than 700 jobs at risk.

The chain, which sells farm equipment, equestrian good and animal feed, has stores in Gloucester and Tredington, near Tewkesbury.

The announcement comes days after the competition watchdog blocked the sale of the company's retail arm to another chain of country stores, as reported by The Times.

The company has been exploring restructuring options for a year and had agreed in principle to sell its retail division to Mole Valley. But the Competition and Markets Authority had blocked the move, citing competition concerns.

The company sold its wholesale division last year and sold its gas business, supplying gas to off-grid homes, this month.

Countrywide is yet to make any redundancies and is seeking a buyer for the whole or part of the business.

Punchline says: "This has been on the cards for years. A frequent customer, or at least visitor for probably 40 years told Punchline, that they slowly stopped buying anything there, even wellies, as they just did not keep pace with global prices. A 25kg bag of unsalted peanuts, for the tits of Gloucestershire, was around 15% cheaper at the pet shop in Nailsworth several years ago. Countrywide stores lost their way and yesterday's announcement was simply the last waltz for them many years too late.

"A very sad day for the wonderful and friendly staff who were obviously let down by the management."

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