Another Mad Butcher franchise located in Auckland's North Shore has shut down, following a string of unexpected closures this year.
Mad Butcher Northcote closed its doors for good on Monday last week after its franchise agreement came to an end and was subsequently not renewed.
The Herald is yet to find out why the Northcote store's franchise agreement with Mad Butcher Holdings was not extended.
The Ocean View Rd store has since been replaced by another butchery operating from the same location, operated by a new owner, however, it is not related to the Mad Butcher, a source told the Herald.
The Herald understands the owner of produce shop Simply Fresh, located next door to the former Mad Butcher store, now also owns the independent butchery.
"The franchise just ran out. The guys that owned the company decided not to have a Mad Butcher anymore," the source told the Herald.
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He would not say whether the new owner had taken over existing stock and store assets.
A string of Mad Butcher franchises have shut up shop in the past few years.
Earlier in the year, a former store located in Albany permanently shut, along with a store in Glen Innes and another in Whangarei.
Peter Jollands of insolvency firm Jollands Callander was appointed liquidator for those stores, and for almost all of the other dissolved companies formerly trading under the Mad Butcher brand.
The Herald has contacted him for comment about the Northcote store.
Mad Butcher Holdings co-owner and director Michael Morton has also been approached for comment.
The Mad Butcher franchise, previously owned by Veritas Investments, is co-owned by Michael Morton and partner Julie Leitch, the daughter of founder Sir Peter Leitch.
The pair bought back the business from Veritas for $8 million in July 2018 for a quarter of the $40m the company purchased it for in 2013.
Mad Butcher store numbers have dramatically decreased since Veritas ownership, with around 16 store closures in the past few years. In its heyday, the butcher chain had 40 stores throughout the country.
Today, 18 stores make up the Mad Butcher chain, according to its website.
In January, the only Mad Butcher store operating in Whangarei closed its doors and by March the former owner was in the Auckland High Court defending an injunction order by Mad Butcher Holdings following the end of its franchise agreement.
Mad Butcher claimed former store owner Robert Wightman breached the conditions of his restraint of trade outlined in the initial franchise agreement after he opened his own independent butcher shop called The Meat Man in the same site as the previous Mad Butcher store.
The meat franchise won an interim injunction against the former franchisee and is entitled to costs and reasonable disbursements, conditional on it providing security. It has since started a online butcher business in the Whangarei area.
During the trial, Judge Gault heard Wightman had concerns about the financial performance of the Mad Butcher store and that Wightman had asked for help from the company but received no assistance.
More to come.