Local, Fresh, Friendly
|Successor||Stores converted into Costcutter|
Number of locations
|9 stores (at final closure)|
Number of employees
|Website||FreshXpress official website (Web Archive)|
FreshXpress was a discount supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. It was originally formed in 2007, from the rump of the defunct Kwik Save chain, by Irish retail entrepreneur Brendan Murtagh. It existed in its original form between July 2007 and March 2008, culminating in it going into administration, and was then resurrected in a smaller form, however during 2009 the resurrected company also went into administration, and has since ceased to exist.
From the remains of Kwik Save
In February 2007 Brendan Murtagh and his son Alan Murtagh, a major shareholder in Cavan-based Kingspan building materials group backed 70% of a £50 million rescue plan for Kwik Save, with the Kwik Save managing director, Paul Niklas covering the remaining 30%. Murtagh's son Alan Murtagh had already been a director of the business before he got involved.
A new beginning
FreshXpress Retail Limited first had 56 stores, all of which were formerly Kwik Save stores before the chain went bankrupt. On 6 July 2007, 56 stores stayed open, forming FreshXpress in an £18m deal, saving around 600 jobs. The FreshXpress stores officially opened on 21 July 2007. Prodo and The Think Tank assisted with the creation of the new brand. In the middle of September 2007, due to poor trading results this portfolio of stores was reduced from 56 to just 23 better performing stores, the closed stores were sold in chunks to Tesco, Sainsbury's, and The Co-op.
Many of the stores were leased from the Somerfield group and are now being leased to other retailers
Between September 2007 and March 2008 more under performing FreshXpress stores were closed down, leaving just nine stores, and Mr Niklas cut his ties with the company. In March 2008 FreshXpress went into administration. On 21 March David Whitehouse of Menzies Corporate Restructuring was appointed joint administrator.
Another vehicle called FX Holdings (formerly Ivybrim), received the go ahead at Manchester Crown Court to acquire the remaining operating outlets. Andrew King, a former executive at Costcutter, one of the company's suppliers was to head up a nine store chain with 130 employees.
Into administration again
The parent company of the second incarnation of FreshXpress, FX Holdings was placed into administration and subject to a request for a winding up order in April 2009. All the remaining stores were closed.
- "Future not so bright for discounter FreshXpress". The Irish Independent. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
- "Press release" (PDF). Kwik Save. 6 July 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2007.
- "600 Kwik Jobs Safe". The Mirror. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
- "Kwik Save shops sold in £18m deal". BBC News. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2007.
- "A fresh face on your doorstep" (PDF). FreshXpress. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "FreshXpress Case Study". Prodo.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "FreshXpress Case Study". The Think Tank. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
- "Store list". FreshXpress. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "FreshXpress soon goes stale". The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
- "Jobs to go at Teesside store". Evening Gazette. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
- "Companies House - FX Holdings". Companies House. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
- "London Gazette winding up order" (PDF). The London Gazette. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "The last FreshXpress store closes its doors". The Grocer. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.