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Furniture firm with store and head office in Norfolk calls in administrators

PUBLISHED: 10:31 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 20:24 23 November 2017

The sewing room at the Multiyork factory in Thetford. Photo: Jerry Daws

The sewing room at the Multiyork factory in Thetford. Photo: Jerry Daws

©Archant Photographic 2010

A national furniture chain which has a store and its head office in Norfolk is looking for a buyer after calling in administrators.

Multiyork employs nearly 550 people and runs 50 shops across the country - including in Norwich, Ipswich and Mellis, in Suffolk - as well as a head office and factory on Stephenson Way in Thetford.

Its Norwich shop is at the top of St Stephens Road, one of the city’s main shopping streets.

But it was announced on Wednesday that Allan Graham and Matt Ingram, of Duff and Phelps, had been appointed joint administrators for the firm.

The company was founded in 1978, originally operating in the Old Mill site in the village of Mellis, in Suffolk.

It moved its factory and head office to Thetford in 1992, where it produces hundreds of pieces of furniture each week, and was bought by the Wade Furniture Group in 1995.

Mr Graham said: “Trading conditions for UK retailers continue to be difficult due to a number of factors including economic uncertainty, rising commodity prices, increasing business rates and the fall in value of the pound which has increased the cost of importing raw materials and products.

MORE: Thetford-based Multiyork Furniture fights back against challenging retail market

“This appears to be leading to a sharp fall in consumer confidence and less money being spent on discretionary items.”

Acceleration in inflation had prompted shoppers to become more cautious about their spending, he said, which meant Multiyork could “no longer meet ongoing liabilities”.

He said the management team was helping the administrators during the process, and that a review of all orders made up to November 22 was being undertaken, which they hoped would see all orders completed.

“We ask that customers who have placed orders be patient during this time and you will be contacted with further updates in relation to your order shortly,” he said.

“We intend to continue to trade the business for a short period as we look for a buyer. We are hopeful we can find a buyer and we are asking interested parties to come forward as quickly as possible.”

The firm saw sales rise by 9.7% to £47.7m for the year ending September 2015, up from £43.5m the year before.

Are you affected by the news? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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