Market Harborough-based furniture retailer Furniture Loft has ceased trading, sparking a reaction from out-of-pocket customers and the local council.
According to the Harborough Mail, around 400 customers have been impacted by the closure with several filing complaints of the sudden collapse to Trading Standards.
It is understood that an email was sent to customers advising them of the company ceasing to trade on 17 June and wouldn’t be able to fulfill orders, stating that they would need to claim back money spent through their card providers.
Furthermore, Furniture Loft’s owner, Richard Kimbell, said that the business suffered a ‘huge kick in the teeth’ following a ‘very disappointing’ sale event back in March this year, which returned just over £348,000, less than the £611,000 figure that was predicted by promoters.
Following the event, sales continued to fall while also suffering from ‘serious problems’ in the supply chain, stating that the furniture industry as a whole is in ‘big trouble’.
Mr Kimbell, who was also the director of Furniture Loft’s predecessor Furniture Barn – which ceased trading in 2015, added that he understands the frustrations from customers following its closure, revealing that he could lose up to £2m, but remained confident that ‘99% of shoppers will get their money back’.
In reaction to the closure and complaints associated with it, Harborough District Council has urged the Insolvency Service and Trading Standards to launch an official investigation to examine the ‘alleged actions and behaviours of the company directors’. Harborough’s MP Neil O’Brien is understood to be in contact with the aforementioned authorities.
Furniture Loft, which has been established since 2016, operated from its 55,000sq ft store on Harborough’s Riverside industrial estate.