19 jobs lost at Preston store as furniture retailer Fabb Sofas falls into administration

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A sofa retailer with a branch in Preston has gone into administration - resulting in all of the city store's staff being made redundant.

Fabb Sofas, which has a store at the Capitol Centre Retail Park in Walton-le-Dale, was placed into administration yesterday (Thursday, June 7) with the business unable to "continue to meet payments as they fall due".

Nine stores are affected, including the one in at the Capitol Centre Retail Park, where all 19 employees have lost their jobs.

The shock closure came just hours before one South Ribble customer was due to take delivery of a brand new sofa.

"We were told it would be here between 12 and one, but when it didn't arrive we tried to contact Fabb," said a furious Alison Walmsley from Longton.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out the company had gone into administration that very morning.

Fabb Sofas store at the Capitol Centre Retail Park in Walton-le-Dale. Photos: Neil Cross.

Fabb Sofas store at the Capitol Centre Retail Park in Walton-le-Dale. Photos: Neil Cross.

"They had even rung us the day before to make sure we'd be in.

"We've now got a big space in the lounge where the sofa should be. And if we have to go out and buy a replacement it's normally weeks before it's delivered.

"In the meantime what are we going to sit on? And will we get our money back?"

A second customer contacted the Post over the no-show of their new sofas which were meant to be delivered on Friday morning (June 8).

Sofas being moved inside the shop - which is closed to customers.

Sofas being moved inside the shop - which is closed to customers.

"I should have had my new three-piece suite delivered today but no one has turned up or told me what's going on," said pensioner Kathleen Parkinson, from Chorley.

The 67-year-old added: "I'm just gobsmacked. I had already put £200 towards it and was meant to pay another £2,600 next week so I'm glad I hung fire and didn't pay it all in one go.

Kathleen ordered her new three seat and two seat sofas, along with an armchair, on March 3, and was told there would be a 13 week waiting period before delivery - something that came and went.

When she was finally given a delivery date of Friday, June 8, she says she was meant to get a delivery confirmation text two days earlier - but she received no such text.

A shop closure notice in the shop window at Fabb Sofas in the Capitol Centre Retail Park.

A shop closure notice in the shop window at Fabb Sofas in the Capitol Centre Retail Park.

Kathleen said: "I got rid of my old set yesterday (Thursday, June 7) and I'm wheelchair-bound, so I'm sat here in my wheelchair with nowhere else to sit.

"My husband is going to have to sit on a deckchair. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. My son is going berserk."

Toby Scott Underwood and Peter David Dickens from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were appointed as joint administrators of the company on Thursday.

In a statement on the Fabb Sofas website, PWC write: "Since incorporation, the Company has grown rapidly to nine stores across England and Scotland.

"Despite achieving significant revenues in such a short period, the business remained reliant on external funding to support trading losses.

"Without external funding, the business could not continue to meet payments as they fall due."

Onlookers trying to get a glimpse of what is going on behind the locked doors.

Onlookers trying to get a glimpse of what is going on behind the locked doors.

A PWC spokesman added: "Given the cash flow position, the management team undertook a sales process to find a purchaser who could provide the funding required to continue to deliver the business plan and take the Company forward.

"Unfortunately, it was not possible to achieve a sale and as such the directors had no option but to appoint administrators to protect the creditors of the Company.

"Please refer to the information provided in the relevant sections below.

"For any other queries please email fabbsofas@uk.pwc.com."

The announcement comes only four months after a £2 million revamp of the Capitol Centre Retail Park bringing improvements to Fabb Sofas, Vue Cinema, and Tapi Carpets.

The furniture store was founded in 2016 by DFS founder Lord Kirkham.

The 73-year-old was reported to be worth £1.2 billion in the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List.