An extensive culling of branches and staff continues apace at Countrywide as it significantly reduces the size of both its office structure and headcount.
In the past week Estate Agent Today has reported on permanent branch closures in recent weeks for a string of Countrywide brands - these were Palmer Snell, CW Bridgfords, King & Chasemore, Beresford Adams, Taylor’s and Geering & Colyer.
Now, in the past 72 hours, EAT has been told of closures of additional branches - these have been put to Countrywide, but the company is not responding.
Those branches are Bairstow Eves at Great Barr in Birmingham; the Entwistle Green brand’s office at Runcorn, Clive Watkin at Willaston, and the Fulfords' offices at the Devon towns of Burleigh Salterton, Seaton and Sidmouth.
We have been informed of the closure of additional Palmer Snell offices at Wincanton and Somerton, and an additional Beresford Adams office closure at Conwy.
One agent informed EAT that some casual staff have not had contracts renewed, of a possible restructuring of some of the financial services activities of Countrywide, and of more substantial numbers of redundancies amongst agents in the central and north west regions.
Much of the speculation over redundancies has also been put to Countrywide, and again the company has chosen not to respond.
However, last week a spokeswomen told EAT: "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."
EAT has asked Countrywide to reveal where the new branches are and at what time they opened - the company has chosen not to respond to that request.