Perhaps it has bypassed your attention, but car supermarket Carcraft is to close, with the loss of about 500 jobs.
The dealership, based in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, has 10 showrooms around the country. Carcraft was the UK’s seventh-largest second-hand car chain. It sold more than 12,000 used vehicles a year, according to the administrator, Grant Thornton, which said the group had suffered from “poor market reputation, lack of investment, a high cost base, expensive loan note financing and an insolvent balance sheet”.
More than 20 years ago, I remember spending a day at one of their branches, kicking tyres and talking to staff about the car supermarket revolution.
What I’ve always liked most about car supermarkets is the choice. However, the mass-market selling of cars in a supermarket setting is problematic.
The easy finance can be less than easy. Then there can be strong pricing and cars that aren’t strictly warrantable. Indeed, a spokesman warned customers that Carcraft policies, including breakdown cover, would no longer be valid.
So some car supermarkets have exploited the needy and those with CCJs, who may not get mobile otherwise.