Top 50 Indie High Noon Stores has gone into administration.

The South Wales convenience store chain and forecourt operator has 15 sites including 10 forecourts and was ranked 32nd in last year’s Top 50 Indies.

Five of the group’s branches operate as Spar stores and a spokeswoman for Spar said: “We can confirm that High Noon Stores went into administration on 30 December. This is a very sad development for all employees and individuals associated with the business, AF Blakemore will work closely with the administrators over the coming weeks.”

Local newspaper reports said the company’s stores had been closed suddenly with no explanation and the directors could not be contacted.

They quoted customers as saying the store and forecourt at Whitemill on the A40 had stopped selling fuel a couple of weeks ago because of problems with the fuel supply or the pumps, and that it had recently closed a few times at very short notice because of a problem with the power supply.

Pictures that were published showed hand written notices in the doors saying “we are closed until further notice”.