The contribution of Flooding and Extreme Weather to financial woes of Booths Supermarkets
In July, it was announced that the high-end supermarket chain Booths had been forced to call in accountants to conduct a review of the business due to financial pressures. In addition to the increasingly merciless competition poised by discount retailers and online markets, the flooding and extreme weather events of Storm Desmond in December 2015 significantly contributed to the current financial situation.Storm Desmond resulted in three feet of flood water entering the Keswick store and subsequent closure of the store for three months. In addition to the loss of revenue, the store required expensive refitting. Concurrently, the extreme weather also resulted in the temporary closure of other stores, in particular the store at Kirby Lonsdale. The Company Strategic Report of March 2016 reports that; ‘the store suffered intensive flooding to its basement warehouse, damaging all plant and equipment beyond repair.’
Image 1: Rivers and Seas and Surface Water Flood Risk for Booths Keswick: Medium Risk of Rivers and Seas Flooding, High Risk of Surface Water Flooding.
On the 19th July 2017, Booths Kirkby Lonsdale was closed a further time due to a surface water flooding event, again concerning the basement warehouse.
Image 2: Surface Water Flood Risk for Booths Kirkby Lonsdale: High Risk of Surface Water Flooding
The site location of Supermarkets means that a percentage of the estate will always be subject to risks of flooding from rivers and seas and from surface water. It is imperative that Corporate Headquarters:
· Identify and understand flood risk to individual locations.
· Employ Surveyors to conduct flood surveys and assessments.
· Mitigate enduring flood risks.
· Comprehensively plan and prepare for dynamic flood events.
· Have the necessary technology and procedures to:
- Monitor flood and extreme weather risks.
- Prompt and conduct mitigating action.