Better Bathrooms the national bathroom chain which self-proclaimed to be the biggest independent bathroom retailer in the UK, has stopped trading.
Following widening financial losses over the past few years news has emerged that Better Bathrooms called in the administrators
Social Media was awash with the unofficial news throughout the afternoon, with a number of employees claiming that the business ceased trading at midday. It transpired that all Better Bathrooms employees were told that they no longer had jobs in a staff meeting at 13:30pm.
In Better Bathrooms latest financial reports and accounts the business confirmed that losses had more than doubled for the year to end of March 2018, at £3.5 million, up from £1.5m the year before. It was also confirmed that whilst the losses had doubled this was on flat sales which cast doubt on the sustainability of the business.
Better Bathrooms had 13 showrooms and an e-commerce business and as of the news becoming official this afternoon the showroom phones and the company website have both been taken offline.
As a result of the news being confirmed the net result is that Better Bathrooms has made 325 staff redundant and has closed all its showrooms, trade counters and warehouses with Phil Pierce and Gary Blackburn from specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, were appointed as joint administrators.
Phil Pierce, the joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory, said: “The challenges facing the UK retail industry are well known and are putting immense pressure on businesses operating in the sector. Unfortunately, Better Bathrooms has suffered from severe cashflow difficulties and an extended period of soft trading, which has forced the business into administration. Without significant investment or the cash to continue trading, the difficult decision was made to cease operations.
“We will be working with all the affected staff to support their claims through the Redundancy Payments Service during this difficult time. We know that customers will also be particularly concerned, and they should email Betterbathrooms@frpadvisory.com with their details. We will be writing to all customers as soon as possible.
“We urge any parties who might be interested in acquiring the assets of the business to come forward as soon as possible.”
There is no doubt that the current KBB environment is challenging and that whilst some retailers are holding their heads above water there is no denying that the sector (like the housing market) is very flat.