Oak Furnitureland to close over 27 stores; 163 jobs at risk

28 July 2020 (Last Updated July 29th, 2020 08:06)

UK furniture retailer Oak Furnitureland has decided to permanently close more than 27 stores across the UK.

Oak Furnitureland to close over 27 stores; 163 jobs at risk
Oak Furnitureland specialises in fully assembled hardwood furniture. Credit: Todd Van Hoosear.

UK furniture retailer Oak Furnitureland has decided to permanently close more than 27 stores across the UK.

The move could render a total of 163 employees jobless.

The restructuring plans comes nearly a month after the furniture chain was rescued from collapse in a pre-pack administration deal.

The retailer was acquired by global investment manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management following a sales process by Deloitte on 15 June.

Davidson Kempner reportedly plans to launch a strategic review into its operations to secure its financial position.

Oak Furnitureland CEO Alex Fisher said: “The current proposal to close some showrooms forms part of a company-wide review that we are undertaking as a business.

“We are committed to driving forward a plan for our future growth, and although this has been a difficult decision, it is the right one for the business in these uniquely challenging times.

“We are confident that the decision will ensure we remain a competitive and dynamic choice for our customers.”

Additionally, the company also initiated consultations with landlords of these stores as well as with the 163 affected employees.

Meanwhile, the reopening of showrooms following the restriction have gradually “stabilised” the business.

In a separate development, Baird Group, which is the UK licensee of menswear retailer,  is in negotiations with creditors over a plan to close over 18 stores, reported Financial Times.

Ben Sherman is owned by the US-based Marquee Brands. Baird Group also plans to renegotiate rents with landlords of the remaining stores.

The UK company, which also owns brands such as Suit Direct and operates Jeff Banks, filed for company voluntary agreement.

Its plans to close one third of its stores is expected to axe around 260 jobs.

Covid-19 pandemic has hit retailers hard. Earlier this month, UK furniture retail chain Harveys closed around 20 stores, leading to 240 job losses as the company entered into administration.

Last month, Home décor and accessories retailer Pier 1 Imports received approval from the US Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia for permanent closure.