bankruptcy leaves hundreds of French customers in disarray

Window of a showroom of the online furniture retailer, in London, in June 2021.

“A bed that we have been waiting for for seven months. We sleep on pallets. » “We waited a year to be able to buy” a table for 800 euros, “but unfortunately we continue to eat on our camping table”. “Without a bed, dining table and sofa, it’s impossible to settle down. » On social networks, testimonials from French families trapped in the brutal bankruptcy of the British online furniture sales site are flooding in daily.

The company from which the customers placed their order was well established: marketing its furniture products on the Internet in eight European countries, it had showrooms in London and Paris, and had entered the London Stock Exchange, in the summer of 2021, where it was valued at nearly 800 million pounds sterling (925.7 million euros).

But everything quickly changed. A drop in demand, combined with a global disruption of supply chains, led to announce in September that it was investigating “different strategic options”. Before throwing in the towel after the interruption of its negotiations with potential buyers.

Read also: Furniture retailer close to liquidation

At the beginning of November, the company was placed under administration with a view to its liquidation, its listing was suspended on the London Stock Exchange, and the firm PwC was appointed to manage this situation. the British group Next then undertakes to take over the brand, domain names and intellectual property for 3.4 million pounds. But not the customer receivables, nor the few stocks, auctioned by the British auction house John Pye Auctions between November 24 and 27. “Payments to creditors will be made according to their statutory priorities”reported PwC.

Difficult financial situation

A flash bankruptcy that leaves five hundred destitute employees and customers in complete disarray. Fifth wheel of the carriage on the scale of creditors of a company domiciled outside the European Union, hundreds of trapped French customers gathered around a Facebook group, which now has more than one thousand three hundred members .

Some are waiting for a package blocked at the carrier, which itself has not been paid. Others worry about an order “reported three times by, and the last time on September 21”. Still others are desperately waiting for a refund for a product return. Families have paid up to 4,000 euros. None of them would have imagined finding themselves in such a situation.

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