Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct close as Homeform appoints administrators
The administrators said that 453 customers who did not pay their deposits by credit card to Kitchens Direct, Moben and Dolphin would lose a total of £1.5 million unless buyers for the businesses were found.
Several hundred customers who have paid deposits adding up to £2.6 million on credit cards should be able to reclaim their deposits from their bank or credit card company, said Deloitte.
Homeform, which was backed by private equity group Sun European Partners, operated 160 showrooms and concessions and employed 1,208 workers.
The Sharps bedroom business, the remaining company in the group, has been sold back to a new company controlled by Sun, thereby saving 627 jobs at the company’s factory in the West Midlands and at its Surrey offices. Sharps customers will still have their orders fulfilled.
Phil Bowers, Deloitte joint administrator, said of Homeform: "The business has suffered from the extreme pressures currently hitting retailers of high value items, as customers shy away from big-ticket purchases such as kitchen and bathrooms."
He added that the trading downturn had resulted in a funding shortfall at the company. As the management team had been unable to secure new credit lines for the entire business, the group had no other option but to call in the administrators.
Although the operations of Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct have been closed down with 557 staff being been made redundant, Deloitte said they were still trying to find a buyer for the businesses. Bowers said: "We are now in urgent discussions with the key stakeholders and interested parties of Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct in an attempt to sell all or parts of the businesses."
He added: "We have written to all the employees with briefings to help them understand their position."
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