Online ethical grocer Farmdrop, has cancelled hundreds of food orders a week before Christmas as the business closes.
From 16 December, the company ceased deliveries and announced the permanent closure due to “financial competition” and “challenges to growth”.
However, customers who had already paid were advised to contact their bank or card company for a refund, which has left them anxious over sourcing alternatives for festivities and isolation, according to social media complaints.
The London-based company was founded by a former City broker Ben Pugh in 2012 after discovering a lack of locally sourced food available and wanted to connect independent farmers with consumers through the internet.
Despite rapid growth during the pandemic, the online grocer warned “the growth in orders and sales had not translated into profitability.”
The latest financial accounts in July revealed the company had £10 million in pre-tax losses from the year ended 30 June, compared to £11 million during the same period last year.
Over 450 producers have also been impacted by the closure, some have reported on social media they are still owed money.
“It has become apparent that we have exhausted all possible options … we will no longer be able to serve our cherished customers.” Farmdrop’s website stated.
An email to customers added: “If you have paid for an order with us, we would recommend getting in touch with your bank or card supplier to initiate a chargeback as the refunds now sit with the administrators.
“If you have booked a delivery but have not yet been charged, you will not be charged.”