Norfolk furniture store Wallace King set to close ‘within weeks’

An East Anglian furniture and flooring business with a shop and warehouse in Norfolk has fallen victim to changing trends with shoppers buying more goods on the internet.

Wallace King Interiors, which has shops in Diss and Cambridge, is set to shut within weeks following a closing down sale, with the loss of 10 jobs and 14 customers awaiting orders from the firm, which has been trading for more than 100 years.

Accounting firm RSM Tenon was set to be appointed as administrators for the troubled company, which closed its Bodolph Street store in Norwich last year, on Thursday and both shops as well as a warehouse in Norwich are set to close.

Nick Simmonds, the proposed administrator with RSM Tenon, said trade had been affected by customers increasingly shopping online for furniture and the small business could not compete against larger chains with online sales facilities.

He added a more 'throwaway' culture nowadays had also contributed to bolstering the second hand goods market whereby people were increasingly willing to give away furniture to charity or second hand shops.

Mr Simmonds said customers who had paid for their orders by credit card would be entitled to a refund, but a number of orders had been paid by cash.

He added if the goods were in stock, the cash order would be met, but if the item needed to be ordered from the manufacturer then the order would only proceed if it was 'profitable.'

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The ailing firm had been planning to close late last year, but in December the company announced a U-turn after securing investment.

However, the investors subsequently pulled out after being unable to drive up sales, leaving the company facing administration.

A deathly silence fell after the Diss shop in Victoria Road initially closed on Good Friday, as customers were unable to get an answer from the store on whether their orders would be fulfilled. A sign on the entrance read 'this store is closed for the Easter break'.

However, the shop will reopen again on Saturday for the closing down sale, which Mr Simmonds said would last 'for a week or two, but not forever.'

ARE you one of the customers awaiting an order from Wallace King? Call Dominic Bareham on 01379 651198 or email dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk.

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