Booths boss Edwin Booth has vowed to “address a number of inadequacies” within the business as he gears the grocer up for a potential sale.

Booth, who took the reins as executive chairman following the exit of former chief executive Chris Dee in May, has slammed parts of the grocer’s strategy including its pricing, store layouts and marketing.

Booth promised to make changes after a customer wrote to him complaining about the retailer’s new store, patronising adverts and the fact it was selling half-melons for the same price as whole ones.

In a stinging response to the disgruntled shopper, which was seen by The Daily Mail, Booth said: “I cannot for the life of me understand why we should be offering whole melons at the same price as a half-melon. This is patently ridiculous and I will investigate why this is the case immediately.”

He added: “I was uneasy about the layout of our new store right from the start and called for a number of changes to be made.

“Sadly these did not materialise and now that I have taken on responsibility for running our business, I am working to address a number of inadequacies that are evident throughout.”

Potential buyers

Booth also revealed the upmarket chain’s “Great Northern Knees Up” slogan “will not be used again” because it “does not sit comfortably with the image of our company”.

As previously reported by Retail Week, the 170-year-old grocer, dubbed ‘the Waitrose of the North’, has called in advisers to identify potential buyers after losses widened to £14.8m in the year to April 1.

The business could fetch between £130m and £150m.

The move has prompted speculation that US tech titan Amazon, which already sells a range of Booths products online, could launch a bid for the business.