THE full extent of the collapse of a Northwich bathroom furniture company has been revealed by administrators.
Some 700 customers have lost a total of around £600,000 after Denton Drive-based bathroom furniture and tiles specialist Choice Interiors (North West) Ltd went into administration earlier this month.
Administrators say they have had six firm offers for the business and are hoping for more before the deadline tonight (Wednesday), but admit the chance of customers getting their money back is limited. The outlook for its 16 employees is slightly brighter.
Kerry Bailey, joint administrator and partner at PKF in Manchester, said: 'We have had a number of offers, we have had 35 interested parties and from that we have had in the region of six formal offers, all of which are in the right ballpark. Wednesday at 5pm is the final cut off and at the moment we are reasonably confident that we are going to get a sale.
'We don't know what the impact will be on customers. We are advising customers that
they won't be getting the goods they have paid for. Obviously, we will keep them regularly informed as to what is going on, and in the event we do get a good price for the company there is a chance they may be paid a dividend as unsecured creditors.
'We are confident that we will agree a sale which will keep the shops trading. Most of the interested parties have said they want to keep trading as it is from the same locations, and keep the existing workforce, which is now employed by us working through the existing orders.'
Choice Interiors was established in 1994 and has showrooms on Manchester Road in Northwich and also at Chester and Warrington. It employs 12 people in Northwich and four at its other stores.
Mrs Bailey said Choice Interiors had been a victim of the economic slowdown which has hit trading: 'The retail sector generally has been struggling, with some disappointing figures in December, January and February. January was better, but not as good as they were hoping for. The Chester showroom has also undergone improvements which hasn't helped cashflow.'