Britain’s Next to buy bankrupt furniture retailer Made.com with 500 jobs at risk

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – British fashion retailer Next (NXT.L) will buy the brand from collapsed online furniture seller Made.com (MADE.L) after it fell into administration, jeopardizing around 500 jobs.

Made has operated for nearly 18 months as a public company, selling stylish furniture online, backed by a sizable advertising budget. It did particularly well during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers, stuck at home, spent freely on sofas, coffee tables and lamps.

But the group ran into trouble and ran out of cash as supply chain disruptions hit its operations before Britain’s economic slowdown began to weigh on consumer spending, leaving it to hold too much inventory.

The administration’s appointment means it has become one of the highest-profile UK retailers to fail this year, in what is likely to be a very trying time for the sector as consumers face one of the financial squeezes most difficult ever recorded.

Made, which currently employs around 500 people, could see its entire workforce laid off, said a source familiar with the matter.

The retailer said Wednesday that while Next would buy Made.com’s brand, domain names and intellectual property, the company’s directors, PwC, would take control of its remaining assets, including payments made to creditors. .

“After conducting a thorough process to secure the future of the business, we are deeply disappointed to have reached this stage and how it will affect all of our stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders,” Made president Susanne Given said in a statement. statement.

Next, which operates in more than 500 stores and online, has taken stakes or acquired smaller retailers in recent years, including brands such as Victoria’s Secret UK and Reiss.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kate Holton

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