- Made.com goes into administration this Wednesday
- Next buys brand, website and intellectual property for 3.4 million stg
- 400 jobs lost
LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – British fashion retailer Next (NXT.L) will buy the Made.com (MADE.L) brand for 3.4 million pounds ($3.8 million) after the seller of online furniture collapsed in administration, leading to around 400 job losses.
Made.com hit the buffers on Wednesday, strapped for cash as a weaker economy deterred Britons from buying new furniture. Retail giant Next has purchased its brand, website and intellectual property from administrators PwC.
PwC said in a statement that the agreement did not include staff and therefore there would be around 400 layoffs.
Made.com operated for nearly 18 months as a public company, selling stylish furniture online, backed by a sizable advertising budget. It performed strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers, stuck at home, spent freely on sofas, coffee tables and lamps.
But the group ran into trouble and ran out of cash as supply chain disruptions hit its operations before Britain’s economic slowdown began to weigh on consumer spending, leaving it to hold too much inventory.
The appointment of administrators has made it one of the highest-profile UK retailers to fail this year, in what is likely to be a testing period for the sector as consumers face one of the toughest financial squeezes. difficult ever recorded.
The number of business insolvencies in England and Wales hit its highest level from April to June in nearly 13 years as soaring energy prices weighed on businesses, data from the last month.
PwC took control of Made.com’s remaining assets, including payments made to creditors. PwC said 4,500 orders from customers already in the UK and Europe would be filled, but many more would not.
“Society is a victim of the headwinds faced by all retailers, but most heavily those selling high-priced products,” PwC co-director Zelf Hussain said in a statement.
Next, which operates in more than 500 stores and online, has taken stakes or acquired smaller retailers in recent years, including brands such as Victoria’s Secret UK and Reiss.
($1 = 0.8756 pounds)
Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, additional reporting by Sarah Young and Yadarisa Shabong; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter
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