Countrywide to close 59 estate agencies

John Hewitt Jones

September 13, 2016

Countrywide, the UK’s biggest property services group, is to close 59 branches across the UK.

The company, which runs Britain’s largest chain of estate agents, is to shut estate agent branches across the UK as customers move away from the high street in favour of online businesses.

The number of branches to close accounts for 7% of the FTSE 250 group’s high street premises.

Lisa Ramsay, spokeswoman for Countrywide, said: “Following consultation with colleagues, we have made the decision to close 59 branches within the retail arm of our business.

“This is part of our ongoing ‘Building our Future’ strategy, focused on having the right people in the right places to meet our customers’ needs.”

The move follows a profit warning issued by the group in July, and their decision to launch a fixed-fee, pared-back digital service similar to those offered by start-up online agencies.

Ramsay added: “This programme to rationalise our portfolio of branches will move us to stronger positions in these markets while providing a platform for sustainable and organic growth during the rest of 2016 and beyond.

“Over the coming weeks we will be entering into discussions with affected colleagues and are committed to working responsibly to avoid redundancies where possible. It is our intention to make these changes smoothly, with minimal disruption to our customers.”

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