Nigel Hamilton Smith and Geoff Rowley, partners at FRP Advisory and joint administrators to the Furniture Barn, have confirmed that trading is continuing across each of its seven retail store outlets based in Thurrock in Essex, Market Harborough in Leicestershire, Grantham in Lincolnshire, Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, Kidderminster in Worcestershire, and Doncaster and Sheffield, both in South Yorkshire.
The group also operated warehouses in Doncaster, Thurrock and West Bromwich. It continues to operate a warehouse in Corby and a storage facility in Market Harborough.
While trading continues, servicing new and ongoing Furniture Barn customer orders across the seven retail stores, the joint administrators have today closed with immediate effect three of the group’s warehouse operations in West Bromwich, Doncaster and Thurrock.
The joint administrators also confirm that they have granted a six-month operating licence to a new company, The Furniture Barn 2016 Ltd – run by directors Nigel Hickman, a former director of Furniture Barn Market Harborough, and Terry Maywood – which will continue operations for that period across the business and ensure retail trading continues as normal for both customers and suppliers across all seven Furniture Barn retail stores. The Furniture Barn 2016, which has been granted the licence, intends to close the Sutton Coldfield and Thurrock stores by the end of February.
The Furniture Barn has been operating with more than 100 staff since it entered administration on 4th December 2015, and has continued to trade as normal, purchasing furniture and meeting customer demand. During the administration process the joint administrators have continually reviewed the financial position of the group and operations of the businesses.
The closure of the three warehouses, together with a reduction in capacity at the Corby warehouse, the reduction in capacity at the Market Harborough storage facility, and reduced operations at the group’s head office in Market Harborough will result in a total of 45 job losses. It is anticipated that the eventual closure by the end of February of retail stores in Sutton Coldfield and Thurrock will result in the loss of a further 14 jobs associated with those outlets.
The Furniture Barn 2016 will continue to trade the Furniture Barn businesses across all the remaining retail stores and warehouse operations, under the licence granted to them by the joint administrators.
The joint administrators are assisting any staff who have lost their jobs in their claims with the Redundancy Payments Services.