Yate business folds with loss of 20 jobs

A YATE-based firm that specialised in selling British food and drink brands to expats has gone into administration.

British Corner Shop Limited, based on the Stover Trading Estate, off Wellington Drive, exported brands such as Bisto gravy, Jaffa Cakes and Robinson’s orange squash to Britons living abroad who missed a taste of home.

All 20 remaining employees have lost their jobs as a result of the move, announced in January.

Joint Administrators Jonathan Dunn and Matthew Whitchurch, of specialist business advisory firm FRP, said: “The business had suffered ongoing financial challenges following impacts of Brexit and the pandemic, and unfortunately has now ceased trading.

“Regrettably, all 20 employees were made redundant on appointment.

“British Corner Shop faced significant operational challenges over the past few years and, regrettably, was no longer able to meet its financial obligations.

“Our focus now is on supporting staff with their applications to the Redundancy Payments Service as we wind down the business.”

Founded in 2004, the online retailer sold more than 6,000 British food brands to customers and expats across the world.

Yate head office and warehouse

Its head office and warehouse was in Yate and it also ran a distribution hub in Holland.

The company reportedly had a customer base of more than 700,000 people around the world, selling to more than 140 countries, and had seen sales rise during the pandemic as travel to and from the UK was limited, despite restrictions on some of its export markets.

It also sold to other businesses, to provided overseas retailers with British brands.

At home the firm was involved in supporting charities, including Children’s Hospice South West.

‘A real shame’ for expat customers

But the company had financial problems last year, when it went into administration in March and was bought out by private equity firm Rcapital.

The retailer’s website, www.britishcornershop.co.uk, has now been taken down, having initially posted a message which said: “Please be aware that the company has ceased trading on appointment, and is therefore no longer able to respond to any customer or supplier queries.”

All enquiries are being directed to the administrators at BCS@frpadvisory.com.

Expats website Anglotopia commented: “This is a real shame.

“They were an amazing online British grocery store that allowed expats and Anglophiles worldwide to order real British groceries.

“They had reasonable delivery fees and were usually very fast.”

Picture: The British Corner Shop sign at the firm’s Yate headquarters