Fri, 10 Nov 2023 | ADMINISTRATION
Ministry of Furniture, a South West Wales-based supplier of workplace and education sector furniture, has closed and is set to be placed into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation. The company blamed its collapse on shifting work practices since the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a squeeze on government spending.
The company, which began trading more than a decade ago following the collapse of Neath’s Remploy Furniture Factory, specialised in contract furniture supply, remanufacturing, interior design and installation, primarily serving clients in the public sector workplace and education sectors.
The firm reportedly traded profitably until 2021, but since then has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and cuts to public sector funding. Efforts by the firm’s directors to turn the business around have ultimately been unsuccessful and the directors are now liaising with restructuring advisory Begbies Traynor Group, with the business to shortly be placed into Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation.
Begbies Traynor’s Cardiff office has said it is working with agents Eddisons Commercial, who will handle a sale of Ministry of Furniture’s assets and brand in an effort to maximise creditor returns. In its accounts for 2021, the company’s fixed assets were valued at close to £350,000 and current assets at £2.4 million, with net assets amounting to just under £328,000.
Huw Powell, partner at Begbies Traynor's Cardiff office, said: "Ministry of Furniture had managed to retain its original social aims while trading profitably between 2012 and 2021.”
"However, in recent years it has experienced a reduction in turnover as the switch to home working prompted a reduction in public sector spending on projects, as well as increased costs. Despite securing additional borrowing and some significant orders for 2024, efforts by the directors to turn the business around have unfortunately proven unsuccessful.”
The Ministry of Furniture directors added: "It is an extremely difficult situation, and we truly wish we had been able to achieve a different outcome for our immensely dedicated team and customers. The reality is that the business could no longer continue, and we were left without any choice but to close.”
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