Estate Agent Today can reveal that a string of Countrywide offices across the country have been closed in recent weeks - but the company is declining to comment on specific closures.
On Friday we reported that at least two Palmer Snell branches had closed in recent days.
Now agents have contacted EAT to say that the two flagship offices of CW Bridgfords at Wilmslow and Prestbury - thought to have been the original branches when the business was founded in the 1830s - have recently closed.
Likewise the King & Chasemore branch in Felpham, West Sussex, closed in early September.
And Countrywide is also said to have closed down two more of its Beresford Adams branches at Abergele and Ruthin in Wales - offices in Wales have to be closed temporarily under the Coronavirus lockdown there, but it is thought these Beresford Adams branches are shut for good.
Over the weekend we have also been told that the Taylor’s branch in Hemel Hempstead closed earlier this month, and also that the Geering & Colyer branch in Faversham has not reopened since lockdown with its listings now being marketed by Bairstow Eves in a neighbouring town.
On Friday Estate Agent Today asked Countrywide about specific closures and asked how many branches it had shut this year. The company refused to answer those questions.
However, on Sunday afternoon it did issue a statement to EAT saying: "Our branches and our colleagues who work within them remain at the heart of our customer offering. As a responsible business we must constantly assess our branch footprint, the customers they serve and their profitability. We have recently agreed to opening new branches where the market opportunity exits. Sadly, due to the impact of Covid-19 and in particular the closure of the housing market during lockdown, we have had to make the difficult decision to close some branches. Wherever possible, we will seek to redeploy the teams and service our clients from branches close by."
Last week one of Countrywide’s largest shareholders - Catalist Partners, run by agency veteran and current property entrepreneur Robin Paterson - raised objections to a bid for control of the firm by a private equity company, Alchemy Partners.
You can see details of the proposed £90m Alchemy investment here; and you can see an earlier request for action about Countrywide made by Catalist here.
*If you know of other Countrywide branch closures please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.