Estate Agent Today has received a list of around 60 Countrywide Group estate agency offices expected to close in the next few weeks.
The list, published below, has been put to Countrywide for comment. The company says:
"Following consultation with colleagues, we have made the decision to close 59 branches within the retail arm of our business. This is part of our ongoing ‘Building our Future’ strategy, focused on having the right people in the right places to meet our customers’ needs. This programme to rationalise our portfolio of branches will move us to stronger positions in these markets while providing a platform for sustainable and organic growth during the rest of 2016 and beyond. Over the coming weeks we will be entering into discussions with affected colleagues and are committed to working responsibly to avoid redundancies where possible. It is our intention to make these changes smoothly, with minimal disruption to our customers.”
This list of closures follows around a year of speculation about the future of some brands and offices.
Back in October 2015 the group’s chief executive Alison Platt told investors that the organisation would always remain a “house of brands” but would move to “fewer, stronger brands” in the future. Platt said that rebranding was “not about changing names” which she described as “a very expensive waste of time.”
More recently - just this week - it was announced that in London the John D Wood & Co brand would effectively be taking over Faron Sutaria which had been a distinct brand in London’s sales and lettings market for 40 years.
In addition, a string of other London and Home Counties brands - Alan de Maid, Hetheringtons, Vanet, Fitz-Gibbon, APW Lettings and CHK Mountford - were to be relabelled as being “part of John D Wood & Co.”
The leaked information about closures passed to Estate Agent Today and published below goes much, much further in terms of the number of offices and geography.
Offices across England, Scotland and Wales will be affected, with substantial losses particularly in the Midlands and southern England.
Here is the list in full, as passed to Estate Agent Today and seen by Countrywide: the list contains around 61 offices and Countrywide says there are 59 to close.
It has declined to say which on the list are not affected by the closure programme.
The branches are categorised into Countrywide’s in-house regions:
Palmer Snell in Lyme Regis.
Bridgfords in Bingley, and Ripon.
Manchester and Lancashire:
Bridgfords in Hale, and Bramhall.
Mann in Bitterne, Cosham, Godalming, Haslemere and Hythe;
Gascoigne-Pees in Grayshott;
Watson Bull & Porter in Shanklin.
Geering & Collyer in Canterbury and Folkestone;
King & Chasemore in Eastbourne, Lancing and Littlehampton;
Freeman Forman in Mayfield.
Ian Peat in Bingham;
Bairstow Eves in Derby;
R A Bennett in Solihull;
Dixons in Tamworth.
Stratton Creber in Mawnan Smith;
Fulfords in Shaldon, Topsham and Torquay.
Wales and West:
Entwistle Green in Crewe, Frodsham and Prenton;
Beresford Adams in Denbigh and Flint.
Abbotts in Billericay, Clacton, Dedham, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Leigh-on-Sea, Sudbury, Wickford and Witham;
Bairstow Eves in Halstead, Ipswich, Leigh-On-Sea and Tiptree.
Taylors in Kettering and Olney;
Wilson peacock in Newport Pagnell.
Scotland and NE:
Countrywide in Ayr.
R A Bennett in Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, Cirencester, Stow-On-The-Wold, Thornbury, Wootton-Under-Edge and Yate;
Taylors in Churchdown, Evesham, Portishead, Shirehampton, Swindon West and Warndon.