EAST Anglia-based Godfrey DIY has called in liquidators following a further decline in sales – but there are still hopes that two of its branches may survive.

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Godfrey, which is based in Norwich, warned in December that it planned to down-size its business, with the possible loss up to 20 out of a total of 26 jobs in the city and up to half of the staff at its stores in Diss and Stowmarket, where it employed 14 and 11 people respectively.

However, the company – which last year generated turnover of £5million – has now instructed regional business rescue and insolvency specialist McTear Williams & Wood to begin a process of liquidation, with a creditor’s meeting to be held later this month.

Prospective liquidator Andrew McTear said that, since the beginning of the redundancy consultation in November, sales had continued to decline and cashflow had deteriorated to the point where the company could not continue to trade.

Sales had been on “a downward trajectory” since the 2008 housing crisis and, despite considerable cost savings, poor sales in 2012 caused by economic uncertainty, restricted mortgage lending for first time buyers and poor weather had continued to affect trading.

“The company will continue to trade as normal until the creditors’ meeting on January 30, 2013,” said Mr McTear. “After then we hope to be able to sell the Diss and Stowmarket branches as going concerns.”

Managing director Barry Godfrey said: “After 30 years of successful trading this is a sad day for all of us.

“On behalf of my family I would just like to thank all our customers and staff for their loyalty and commitment over the years. Obviously we are not the only retailer to have encountered difficulties since Christmas and probably will not be the last.”

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