Upmarket retailer Booths has put itself up for sale, according to reports

 
Helen Cahill
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Christmas is the key sales season for retailers (Source: Booths website)

Upmarket food retailer Booths has put itself up for sale, according to reports.

The retailer, which has been nicknamed the "Waitrose of the North", is rumoured to be looking for takeover bids after the business swung to a loss of £6.3m last year. In the prior year, Booths made a £1.1m profit.

Read more: AmazonFresh is giving Londoners access to "the Waitrose of the north"

In a statement, Booths said: "Booths has been retailing for over 170 years and it remains a very strong, resilient and well-loved brand.

"One of our strengths has been our ability to adapt to changing market conditions and naturally, we always keep our strategic options open."

The chain has 28 outlets across northwest England, and employs more than 2,800 people.

For the year ended 26 March, Booths' turnover was £276.6m, slightly down on the £278.6m it brought in the year before.

The business was affected by Storm Desmond, and its store in Kirkby Lonsdale was flooded, but was able to open within a week of the damage.

The firm also removed a layer of management, which delivered a saving of £2.5m, but incurred a one-off restructuring cost of £1.6m.

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