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‘Unsustainable rents’ push furniture retailer into administration

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‘Unsustainable rents’ push furniture retailer into administration

Focus on Furniture store

A national furniture retailer has gone into administration citing “unsustainably high rents” as a major drain on profitability. But administrators have hopes of “refocusing on commercially sustainable, core business”.

Focus on Furniture, and 11 other companies associated with the group, went into administration on Wednesday (15 May), ASIC records show, with a combined Notice of Appointment and First Meeting of Creditors subsequently issued on Friday (17 May).

The affected companies are:

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  • Focus on Furniture Pty Ltd (ACN: 089 394 712)
  • BedsOnline Australia Pty Ltd (ACN: 122 205 029)
  • Best Furniture Group Pty Limited (ACN: 101 571 699)
  • D. Gallery Pty Limited (ACN: 131 012 318)
  • eCommerce Ventures Pty Limited (ACN: 154 473 364)
  • Furniture Online Australia Pty Limited (ACN: 151 871 313)
  • LoveADeal Pty Ltd (ACN: 107 198 578)
  • Oz Retail Pty Ltd (ACN: 161 618 293)
  • Pacific Global Furniture Pty Limited (ACN: 106 668 026)
  • Trusted Web Sites Pty Ltd (ACN: 158 267 675)
  • Pillows Online Australia Pty Limited (ACN: 158 267 013)
  • United Furniture Warehouse Pty Ltd (ACN: 127 727 959)

According to the notice, the first meeting of creditors will be held in Sydney on 27 May, and will be held by McGrath Nicol administrators Kathy Sozou, Barry Kogan and Matthew Caddy.

The company trades under the Focus on Furniture and BedsOnline brands. Focus on Furniture currently has 38 retail stores operating across most of Australia, primarily located in NSW and Victoria, as well as one in Canberra, two in South Australia and six in Queensland. It also operates four distribution centres.

The retailer also has an online presence, and has amassed more than 92,000 followers on Facebook and some 31,200 followers on Instagram.

The retailer’s website states that former AFL player turned media personality Shane Crawford had been a brand ambassador for the retailer for “a few years”.

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“As an urgent priority, we will be conducting a review of options for the business, including a possible exit of unprofitable stores in New South Wales and Queensland,” McGrath Nicol’s Barry Kogan said.

It is clear that Focus on Furniture outlets in these states are struggling to compete effectively and on a profitable basis in the face of unsustainably high rents.

“Importantly, irrespective of location, during the administration period all deposits paid for furniture items will be honoured in full and orders placed will be delivered as planned. Gift cards will also remain redeemable at all Focus on Furniture stores.” 

Mr Kogan added: “Long term, the intention will be to refocus the business on the core platform of Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory where operations are profitable. Stores in these regions will continue to trade on a ‘business as usual’ basis during the restructuring process.”

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‘Unsustainable rents’ push furniture retailer into administration
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