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Dwell expected to call in administrators

Dwell, the upmarket furniture retailer, is close to collapsing into administration, putting 200 jobs at risk.

The 24-store chain, which has a store at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City at the Olympic Park, has lined up Duff & Phelps as administrator and could make an announcement on Wednesday.

The company hired Argyll Partners last month to try to find a buyer but it is understood this has been unsuccessful.

If the retailer does fall into administration, Dwell will follow a string of other retailers that have collapsed over the last 12 months, including HMV, Jessops, Blockbuster and Comet.

The company's most recent annual results, which cover the 12 months to January 27 2012, shows that pre-tax losses expanded from £439,721 to £1.69m.

The accounts show that Dwell, which is owned by Key Capital Partners, had net debt of £6.1m but £11.7m of debt due for repayment during the next 12 months.

Dwell warned: "The current economic environment is uncertain, consumer confidence is low and trading conditions are challenging within the declining household and furniture sector.

"As such there remains a risk that the economic situation will worsen and with this in mind the group is taking prudent steps to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies.

"All the company's recent store openings have been successful and yielded profitable stores. The store opening program for 2012/13 is focused on the best opportunities that can deliver rapid earnings and cash pay-backs."

The company said it opened six stores over the previous year, including sites at Lakeside shopping centre and the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham.

Source : Graham Ruddick – The Telegraph

12 June 2013
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