The administrator of a collapsed kitchen and bathroom firm has made nearly 600 people redundant.
Homeform, which trades as Moben Kitchens, Dolphin Bathrooms, Sharps Bedrooms and Kitchens Direct, warned last month that it was facing insolvency and Deloitte was yesterday formally appointed as its administrators.
Homeform, which was backed by private equity group Sun European Partners, had 160 showrooms and concessions and 1,208 employees. Deloitte said it has sold bedroom furniture maker Sharps to a new company in a deal that saved 627 jobs, including at its factory in Bilston, West Midlands, and offices in Camberley, Surrey.
Phil Bowers, Deloitte joint administrator, said Homeform suffered from the extreme pressures currently hitting retailers of high value items, as customers shy away from big-ticket purchases such as kitchen and bathrooms.
Bowers said the operations of Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct have been closed down, and although they continued to look for a buyer, 557 staff had been made redundant.
"We are now in urgent discussions with the key stakeholders and interested parties of Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct in an attempt to sell all or parts of the businesses," he said. "We have written to all the employees with briefings to help them understand their position."