Independent retailer closes with creditors owed over £300k

Independent furniture retailer Cranleigh Furniture has ceased trading after being placed into liquidation.

The business, founded in 2007, relocated to a prime site on Cranleigh High Street just three years ago – a move to larger premises with the intention of growing the business further.

But, shortly after relocating, the pandemic led to national lockdowns, meaning that revenue diminished as it was forced to close its premises. Although the business was able to obtain financial help from Government to support its trading during the pandemic, it continued to struggle and closed at the end of June.

Subsequently, Andrew Hook and Julie Anne Palmer, both of Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP, were appointed as joint liquidators of Cranleigh Furniture Limited on 13 July 2023.

Detailed in newly filed documents on Companies House, the retailer had mounting debts, with the majority of which being owed to banks and other financial firms.

The business owed preferential creditor, the HMRC, £14,000, as well as employee claims totalling £7,300, with the latter expected to be repaid in full from realised assets of £17,000.

As for unsecured creditors, claims totalled £362,000, which included a further sum of £43,000 owed to employees, a director’s loan of £50,000 and £31,000 owed to its landlord.

Furthermore, Barclays are owed £82,000 and Funding Circle is owed £27,000, while a number of furnishing suppliers are also owed four-figure sums. It is anticipated that creditors are expected to suffer a shortfall of £367,000.

In a short statement upon its closure, Cranleigh Furniture said: “It is with regret that Cranleigh Furniture Limited ceased to trade on 30 June 2023. The Company has instructed Begbies Traynor to assist in the necessary formalities to place the Company into liquidation. Formal notice of the liquidation will be circulated to all known creditors in due course but in the meantime, Begbies Traynor can be contacted via email at ryan.cullinane@btguk.com.”

Andrew Hook, partner at Begbies Traynor, commented: “The company did its best to diversify to combat the effects of the pandemic, including launching a commercial website to take orders online, but they were still unable to satisfy their debts. In an effort to further support the business, the director embarked on cost savings measure to manage cash flow and invested significant personal funds into the business. But despite their best efforts, it became inevitable that it would need to wind down its operations.”

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