Furniture wholesale business unable to recover from pandemic

Furniture wholesaler Forza was unable to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the business owing £2m to creditors ahead of entering administration.

Peter Frost and Nicholas Stafford, both of Hazlewoods LLP, were appointed as joint administrators of Forza Projects Limited on 28 April 2023.

Detailed in newly filed documents on Companies House, the business saw sales drop from £4.4m in 2019 to £2.9m in 2021 with the effects of the pandemic having a profound impact on the company. Losses during this period reached £502,000 in 2020 as sales fell by 30%, while the business also posted a loss of £199,000 in the following year.

In the period ended March 2022, losses stood at £248,000. The aforementioned losses were due to sales not returning to historic levels following the pandemic, as well as higher than expected costs in relocating to a new premises.

Upon appointment of administrators, the business was marketed for sale although, despite some interest in purchasing stock and assets, a sale was not possible to complete. Administrators are therefore seeking to realise property in order to make a distribution to preferential creditor claims where possible.

With regards to creditors, the HMRC is owed £255,000, while unsecured claims totalled £1.6m. These included a combined figure of £465,000 owed to 23 customer claims, £607,000 in loans and a further £403,000 owed to the trade.

Administrators stated that there could be some funds available to repay, in part, preferential creditors only. It is expected that creditors will suffer a total shortfall of £2.1m.

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