THOUSANDS of jobs are at risk after McColl's said it was on the brink of collapse.
The struggling convenience store business has confirmed it could fall into administration.
The retailer has been in discussions with potential lenders to shore up the business.
McCol's has struggled badly during the pandemic due to supply chain issues, inflation and a heavy debt burden.
It said that unless those talks are successful, it is "increasingly likely that the group would be placed into administration".
McColl's employs around 16,000 staff at more than 1,100 convenience shops across England, Scotland and Wales.
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In a statement in which it described itself as "the UK's leading community retailer", a representative said: "As previously disclosed on April 25, 2022, the group remains in discussions regarding potential financing solutions for the business to resolve short-term funding issues and create a stable platform for the business going forward.
"However, whilst no decision has yet been made, McColl's confirms that unless an alternative solution can be agreed in the short term, it is increasingly likely that the group would be placed into administration with the objective of achieving a sale of the group to a third-party purchaser and securing the interests of creditors and employees.
"Even if a successful outcome is achieved, it is likely to result in little or no value being attributed to the group's ordinary shares."
The spokesman said a further update would be made "as and when appropriate".
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Earlier this week, it was revealed the group was set to have its shares suspended from the London Stock Exchange as bosses said they would be unable to get its accounts signed off by auditors in time.
Shares in the company had already plunged as it reported last month that talks with its lenders and banks would likely leave shareholders empty-handed under rescue efforts.
The pandemic hit retailers hard with many well-knownshops closing their doors forever.
Debenhams collapsed with 12,000 jobs lost last year, but its website was later bought by Boohoo.
The fast fashion retailer also swooped for the brands Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton, after Arcadia's collapse. It was the the end of its physical presence with 214 of its stores closed
All Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge stores also closed, but the brand was snapped up for online by ASOS.
What are my redundancy rights?
Before making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.
You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you've been working somewhere for at least two years.
How much you're entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You'll get:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
- One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
- One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.
Sadly, you won't be entitled to a payout if you've been working for your employer for fewer than two years.
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There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.
You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.
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