Family-owned bakery Aulds has closed four shops with 26 staff made redundant as it liquidates its retail arm to focus on the wholesale and production operation.

The business revealed its plans last week with Paul Dounis and Steve Ross of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP appointed joint liquidators of the retail arm of the group, Thomas Auld & Sons Limited, on 2 August.

Following appointment, the liquidators assessed the position of business and took the decision to close four stores – Renfrew, Kilmarnock, Irvine and Ayr – to reduce losses. All affected staff have been contacted and their claims are being dealt with by the Redundancy Payments Service.

“It is with profound regret that 26 employees of this historic business have been made redundant with immediate effect, and we are working with local and national organisations to support those employees to process claims as quickly as possible,” said Paul Dounis, RSM restructuring advisory partner and provisional liquidator.

“The ongoing pressure facing the high street has been well documented, with high-profile names entering distressed situations. Unfortunately, this difficult trading environment has led to another blow for the high street. The retail business is well known in the sector and we would ask any parties with an interest in acquiring the business to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

The liquidators will continue to assess the remaining 22 stores in Aulds’ portfolio with a view to selling all or some of them as a going concern to enhance value and safeguard as many jobs as possible.

These will continue to trade during this period and Aulds’ bakery products will still be available as normal in 50 Scotmid stores throughout Scotland, as well as from other independent outlets where they are currently sold.

The liquidation will not affect the group’s two other subsidiary companies: Aulds Bakeries Limited, which manufactures fresh and frozen bakery at the firm’s Greenock site; and Aulds Delicious Desserts, which has a manufacturing facility at Inchinnan.