Hundreds of jobs at risk in Hemel Hempstead as P&H goes into administration

The P&H building on Maxted Road in Hemel Hempstead
The P&H building on Maxted Road in Hemel Hempstead

Hundreds of workers at a Palmer & harvey distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead face the prospect of losing their jobs - after the firm went into administration.

P&H, which is the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler to the UK convenience market, has a distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead which employs roughly 300 staff.

And administrators PwC have confirmed they have made ‘immediate redundancies’ across the firm’s head office and 14 distribution centres.

The P&H Group (including WS Retail Limited) employed roughly 3,400 employees, and 2,500 immediate redundancies have already been made - though WS Retail Limited are unaffected.

A PwC spokesman said: “Remaining employees will assist the joint administrators in managing the activities of the business to an orderly closure. Currently 450 employees have been retained within the wholesale business.

“The group has been by hit by challenging trading conditions in recent months and efforts to restructure the business have been unsuccessful.

“This has resulted in cash flow pressures and it has not been possible to secure additional funding to support the business.”

One employee, who had worked at the business for four years, told a national newspaper that bailiffs had turned up to P&H’s Hemel Hempstead and Farnham offices earlier yesterday, while also alleging that staff were told to ‘go home at lunchtime and wait for a letter’.

The £6.5million distribution centre in Hemel was opened back in 2012.