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Britain's Next to Buy Failed Furniture Retailer

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - British fashion retailer Next will buy the brand of collapsed online furniture seller after it fell into administration, putting around 500 jobs at risk.

Made had a nearly 18-month run as a public company, selling sleek furniture online, backed by a large advertising budget. It performed particularly strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers, stuck at home, spent freely on sofas, coffee tables and lamps.

But the group ran into trouble, and out of cash, as supply chain disruptions hit its operations before Britain's economic downturn started to weigh on consumer spending, leaving it holding too much stock.

The appointment of administrations means it has become one of the most high profile British retailers to fail this year, in what is likely to be a highly testing time for the sector as consumers face one of the toughest financial squeezes on record.

Made, which currently employs around 500 people, could see its entire workforce laid off, a source familiar with the matter said.

The retailer said on Wednesday that while Next would buy's brand, domain names and intellectual property, the company's administrators PwC would take control of its remaining assets including payments made to creditors.

"Having run an extensive process to secure the future of the business, we are deeply disappointed that we have reached this point and how it will affect all our stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders," Made Chair Susanne Given said in a statement.

Next, which trades from over 500 stores and online, has been picking up stakes in or acquiring smaller retailers in recent years including brands such as Victoria's Secret UK and Reiss.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kate Holton

Source: Reuters

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