Belfast Telegraph

25 jobs to go after Musgrave cuts back

By Margaret Canning

More than 25 jobs are at risk after a wholesaler announced it was closing two sites due to a "tough environment".

Musgrave Wholesale Partners, part of the Musgrave Group, said 26 posts at its Hillview Road, Belfast, and Ballymena warehouses would go, but 19 other roles would be transferred to its headquarters in Duncrue, Belfast.

The company said it had started a 30-day consultation with trade unions over the job losses.

They said employees either losing their jobs or moving to a new location would get support under an "extensive outplacement support programme".

A spokesman said: "We are trading in one of the toughest environments in living memory and have examined every part of our business to ensure we have the correct business structures to grow our brands.

"This consolidation of our network means that we are better placed to service our customers and secure the long-term viability of our business in Northern Ireland."

The Hillview branch will close at the end of February and the Ballymena branch at the end of March, the company said.

There are three other MarketPlace branches at Londonderry, Lurgan - which opened in 2011 - and Enniskillen.

Musgrave Group also includes Musgrave Retail Partners, which operates SuperValu, Centra and Mace franchises.

The group employed 678 people, according to its results for the year ending December 2010, and had a turnover of £447.4m and pre-tax profits of £4.4m.

Musgrave acquired the J&J Haslett group in 2007.