Pandemic led to declining trade at furniture retailer ahead of administration

Furniture retailer Express Furniture suffered years of losses as sales were impacted by the Covid pandemic, which ultimately led to its collapse.

According to newly filed documents on Companies House, EVC Furniture Limited, trading as Express Furniture, relied on its directors to continue to trade ahead of the pandemic after not being able to achieve a profit for a number of years.

Following Covid-19, the company suffered a further downturn in trade, prompting the business to secure a bounce back loan from Barclay’s Bank to the value of £45,000. This was obtained in May 2020.

Despite the loan, trade continued to decline and the company was placed into administration on 27 May 2022. Neil Henry, of Lines Henry Ltd, was appointed as administrator with company ceasing to trade.

Following the appointment, stock assets were sold via an online auction for a sum of £10,000 and just over £1,600 in cash was received from the bank.

With regards to creditor claims, the HMRC is owed £22,000 and is expected to suffer a £14,000 shortfall, while redundancy claims of £3,723 are expected to be realised.

As for unsecured creditors, claims totalled £292,000, with the majority of £200,000 being owed to a directors loan account. As stated earlier, Barclay’s is owed the bounce back loan amount, while other trade claims valued £23,600.

These included four-figure sums owed to the likes of Shankar, Welcome Furniture, Bentincks, Valiant Furniture and Wigan Council.

It is expected that creditors will suffer an overall shortfall of around £306,000.

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