Seafolly have collapsed
A 70% splash
Australia’s largest swimwear brand Seafolly has gone into voluntary administration this week as it announced a massive 70% discount sale. Founded in 1979 the company’s products are available on line and in department stores and swimwear shops throughout the UK – and with shops down under and in the USA. Administrators Scott Langdon and Rahul Goyal from KordaMentha Restructuring have been appointed to find a solution blaming Covid-19 for the collapse. The brand is famed for its quality of manufacture and price with a traditional one piece swimsuit costing more than £100.
New Look’s ultimatum
The nationwide fashion retailer New Look has reportedly thrown down the gauntlet to its landlords issuing an ultimatum over its rent. Using the threat of negotiating a pre-pack while in administration in which rent arrears would be dumped the struggling store chain is hoping landlords will agree to turn-over related rent instead of the crippling fixed levels.
Like many retailers footfall was down before Covid-19 but since the lockdown trade has collapsed. Retail Week reported this week: “The fashion retailer has hired consultancy CBRE in an effort to move its 500-strong store estate across to turnover-based rents, which increases the possibility of its falling into a pre-pack administration should those discussions not be successful. Should New Look launch a pre-pack administration, it would be its second financial restructuring in less than two years, following a debt-for-equity swap with stakeholders in January 2019.”
Construction company collapses
The building firm Abbey Construction Northwest is the latest casualty of the harsh winds of Covid-19 as they take their toll on the sector which has seen record levels of company failures. Known as Abbey CNW the firm have been a principle contractor based in Liverpool, delivering what they call ‘high quality construction projects throughout the North West.’ Sadly the Government’s Build, Build, Build plans have come too late for many in the construction industry.
No more cars
The car delivery firm Mack Transport of Harwich has come to an end. The family run business who pride ourselves on their ‘personal, competitive and reliable service’ are the latest casualty of the collapse in the motor industry triggered by Covid-19. Writing in Autocar Felix Page reported: “UK new car registrations fell 89% year on year last month as a result of the nationwide lockdown, making it the worst May for car sales since 1952. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reveal that just 20,247 cars were registered last month, down from 183,724 in May 2019. Of these, 12,900 were for private sales and 6638 were fleet purchases.”
Cem Press end game
Back in the winter Richard Stuart-Turner of trade publication Print Week reported on the demise of wall paper sample book manufacturer Cem Press. Now the holdings firm CEM Press Holdings Limited has gone into voluntary liquidation. Print Week reported in January when a buyer couldn’t be found for Cem Press: “According to its most recently filed accounts at Companies House for the year ended 31 December 2018, Cem Press, which is registered as CEM Press Ltd, recorded a turnover of £2.85m but incurred a net loss of £210,287.”
Firms wait six months to be paid
The Daily Mail has reported on a survey by Market Finance that found 15% of UK firms wait up to 6 months to be paid and that 90% of businesses still haven’t been paid for all their invoices before the lockdown. Another painful statistic is that 25% of all workers in the furlough scheme will be made redundant when it ends this autumn. Other stats included that the average SME received £211,667, on average, from their CBILS loan application with £148,917 still owed to them since March 2020, the vast majority of businesses (81%) are also expecting to wait longer to be paid for the goods they provide and work they do from now on. The Mail reported: “Half anticipate waiting anywhere between 14-30 days beyond normal terms (45 days). Whilst 15% reported they could be waiting anywhere between 3-6 months longer to be paid for work.”
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