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By
Reuters API
Published
Nov 1, 2022
Reading time
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Trouva owner Made.com fails as consumer squeeze bites

By
Reuters API
Published
Nov 1, 2022

British online furniture retailer Made.com said it would appoint administrators after it ran out of cash, becoming one of the first retailers to fail as a result of the squeeze on household budgets this year.


Reuters


Made.com's rapid decline - it floated less than 18 months ago with a value of £775 million ($894 million) - is a warning for retailers across Britain, as consumers cut back on discretionary spend in the face of rising energy bills, mortgage rates and food prices.

The group, which bought Trouva this year, said on Tuesday it intended to appoint administrators after talks to find a buyer failed. It had already suspended customer orders last week.

The online retailer grew during the pandemic when shoppers stuck at home in lockdowns spent money on sofas, coffee tables, lamps and the other items it sold, and it listed in London in June 2021.

But this year, Britain's economy has tanked, and retailers across the board are now bracing for a difficult period.

Half of Britons plan to spend less on Christmas this year, according to market researcher Kantar, having already reined in spending last month with confidence close to a record low in the face of 10% inflation and a chaotic political backdrop.

Made.com warned in October it was struggling with supply chain snags and higher costs. One of its co-founders last week criticised the group's management for investing in high stock levels just as orders dropped off, according to a report in The Times.

It said its shares had been suspended from trading and would in due course be cancelled. Any sale of the company's trade, assets or brands would be effected by administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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