FRP Advisory appointed for Better Bathrooms administration

07 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

More than 300 jobs have been lost, as home improvement retailer Better Bathrooms has fallen into administration. With all of the firm’s stores, trade counters and warehouses now closed, FRP Advisory has been appointed to oversee the sale of its assets, and assist staff with the redundancy process.

The UK retail sector bore the brunt of the sluggish growth seen across the British economy in 2018. Low levels of footfall and a decline in consumer spending power due to stagnating wages and rising inflation meant that stores saw in the year with a flurry of profit warnings. While the likes of House of Fraser and Homebase continue to make headlines, however, many suppliers of such companies are also feeling the pinch due to the knock-on effect of a downturn in demand in home improvement products.

Last year, this saw UK furniture producer QFC appoint administrators from Big Four firm KPMG, while early in 2019, restructuring consultancy Quantuma advised on the sale of home products company Apple Panels, which traded as Apple Home Improvements, to conservatory and door supplier County Windows. Elsewhere, in February FRP Advisory oversaw the administration of British Ceramic Tile and provided support to employees during the redundancy process.

FRP Advisory appointed for Better Bathrooms administration

Just weeks later, FRP Advisory has become involved in another insolvency relating to the home improvements sector. This time, the company in question is Better Bathrooms, the UK’s largest independent bathroom retailer. The news saw more than 300 jobs lost after the company closed the doors of all 13 stores and two trade counters it held across the UK. In the days leading up to its demise, Better Bathrooms customers took to social media to complain of delays in product deliveries – before FRP Advisory was installed as administrator.

At the time of its appointment, FRP confirmed that 325 staff members had been made redundant. This leaves 10 head office and warehouse function staff, who have been retained on a temporary basis to assist with the administration process. The firm added that it would be working with affected staff to support their claims through the Redundancy Payments service.

Joint administrator Phil Pierce said of the situation, “The challenges facing the UK retail industry are well known and are puttng immense pressure on businesses operating in the sector. Unfortunately, Better Bathrooms has suffered from severe cash-flow difficulties and an extended period of soft trading, which has forced the business into administration. Without significant investment or the cash to continue trading, the difficult decision was made to cease trading.”

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