United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Wholesale Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Wholesale Of Food, Beverages And Tobacco
46.39 - Non-specialised wholesale of food, beverages and tobacco

2,500 - 3,400 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
28 November 2017
Employment effect (start)
28 November 2017
Foreseen end date


The Palmer & Harvey Group (P&H), the UK’s largest food and tobacco wholesaler made 2,500 immediate redundancies when the business was placed into administration on 28 November 2017. The business has stopped trading and the remaining jobs are also at risk. Immediate redundancies affected employees at the head office in Hove and the network of branch offices and 14 depots across the country. In his statement issued on behalf of the administrators at PwC, Matthew Callaghan said: “Our priority is to ensure that all employees made redundant are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect.”

P&H supplied 90,000 supermarkets, including some of the UK’s largest ones, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s as well as small shops. The business had insufficient financial resources to continue to trade in the long term.

UPDATE 12/12/2017 Following unsuccessful attempts to sell parts of the Palmer and Harvey business, administrators for the company have announced a further round of redundancies which will result in 400 job losses. The roles which are affected by the latest announcement are sales roles of confectionery and drinks direct to convenience stores.


  • 28 November 2017: PWC (press release)
  • 28 November 2017: The Financial Times
  • 28 November 2017: The Guardian
  • 12 December 2017: The Guardian


Eurofound (2017), Palmer and Harvey McLane Limited, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 92630, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/92630.