Staff at Haldanes stores across the country have been warned that many of them could be made redundant.

The Grocer revealed last week that the new supermarket chain had started a 30-day consultation at its store in Hemsworth, Yorkshire, just two months after opening.

It has now emerged there is an ongoing consultation process with staff and unions about redundancies and store closures across the 25-site chain.

"Like many businesses, we have to control our cost base to reflect change in customer spending patterns and cannot rule out the possibility of redundancies, but no firm decision has been made," said chairman Arthur Harris.

"Nobody expected the drop in returns that has happened. We anticipate there will be an upturn but when that will happen we don't know. When it does, we expect that we will be hiring again. We know the business will come back and hope this is just a temporary downturn."

Haldanes opened its first store in November last year and has expanded rapidly by buying former Somerfield stores from The Co-operative Group.

"In an estate of stores like that of Haldanes, some outlets will operate more successfully than others. That is the nature of the business," said a spokesman.

"Haldanes has to look at all opportunities and options to ensure the ongoing success and strength of the group."