Asco Stores has closed its only store, in Warrington, after just four and a half months trading.

"This store is now closed for a temporary period," a sign on the door reads. "We will reopen in the near future. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause."

Despite this assurance it would open again shortly, MD Dave Laney told The Grocer the store had closed for good. "It's extremely sad, but the store was unsustainable, especially with a rent of £250,000," he said.

Laney admitted to The Grocer two weeks ago that the store was "not working to its potential in its current layout" and said he planned to revamp the store layout and stock so customers would have "an offer that they really need".

Following the closure last week, suppliers said they were chasing payment and members of staff told the local press they had not been paid for several weeks. Last month, signage company Evolve Group filed a winding up petition against Asco, claiming the retailer had failed to pay a £25,621 bill. Evolve said it had been contacted by numerous suppliers wanting to support the petition.

Asco has also had six County Court Judgments lodged against it since January, amounting to £26,297.

Another supplier, who did not want to be named, confirmed: "We are waiting for payment. We have been chasing and are about to take the debt legal."

However, Asco Stores' biggest supplier, wholesaler AF Blakemore, said that although it had stopped supplying the retailer for now, it would be happy to supply it again in future.

Laney said all creditors had been notified in writing about payment. He refused to comment on whether plans to open stores in Formby, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Huntingdon were now on ice. Huntingdonshire District Council said it had only had an "initial inquiry" from Asco. The retailer has also been linked to an M&S Simply Food store in Formby, but M&S said the sale of the store had not been confirmed.