Butcher chain Crawshaw has confirmed the loss of 354 jobs after the company collapsed into administration.

The firm, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, appointed administrators from Ernst & Young late last week after years of financial losses.

The company said on Monday that it had closed 35 of its 54 stores, while the remaining 19 remain open and trading as normal, resulting in 354 redundancies. The group continues to employ 261 staff.

Crawshaw said the administrators have begun discussions with interested parties “with a view to agreeing a sale over the coming weeks”.

Martin Lane, managing editor of money.co.uk, said the closure of so many Crawshaw branches would “leave a big gap in our high streets”.

“This news is undoubtedly very distressing for employees of Crawshaw and their families. Those who fear they will lose their jobs need to check what redundancy rights they have and dig out any income or mortgage protection policies they hold,” he added.

“Unfortunately Crawshaw is just one in a long list of high street retailers who have been struggling. Anyone who works in the retail industry who may be worried about the future of their jobs should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

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The group is the latest in a long list of UK firms to fall into administration. Last week, retailer Evans Cycles was bought by Sports Direct as part of a pre-pack administration.

Last month Karen Millen bought parts of the Coast brand after the clothing store fell into administration, and in September, fashion brand Orla Kiely collapsed.

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