A decision to import more pre-finished cabinet furniture from China and delays agreeing trade finance contributed to the failure of furniture distributor Charltons, according to a new report.


Administrator Andrew Beckingham of Leonard Curtis said the decision to reduce dependence on its own spray shop and import more stock from the Far East resulted in "teething problems with specifications and created delays in delivery dates" for the company.

Mr Beckingham was appointed joint administrator of the Radstock business, which made a loss of £101,000 before tax on sales of £3.05 million in the 14 months to February 28, 2017, at the beginning of September. Losses subsequently doubled to more than £200,000 in the first quarter of its 2017–18 financial year.

As The Furnishing Report revealed Friday, Glebe Furniture Trading, the company behind the Nathan and Sutcliffe brands, acquired stock, intangibles and chattel assets of the Somerset business on September 15. It paid £70,000.

Creditors face a shortfall of around £780,000, with secured creditor Ultimate Trade Finance facing a deficiency of £128,169. HMRC is owed over £100,000 with Euler Hermes and AJ Charlton & Sons also owed yet-to-be confirmed sums north of £60,000 each.

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