RSM to oversee Ena Shaw winding down

21 February 2020 2 min. read
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Merseyside soft furnishings business Ena Shaw has fallen into administration, seeing around 100 jobs lost in the town of St Helens. The firm had suffered from challenging trading conditions in the retail market, as well as heightened online competition.

Retail conditions in the UK have been tough for more than a decade, and home improvement companies have been hit as hard as any other segment of the British high street. In 2019 this saw Bathstore and rival firm Better Bathrooms both fall victim to the crunch, while Homebase was forced to restructure its brand to avoid a similar fate in 2018. Declining consumer spending power due to stagnating wages and rising inflation have led to a flurry of profit warnings, with many stores in the market eventually going out of business or closing stores.

The latest such store to close its doors in the home improvement segment is St Helens-based soft furnishings business Ena Shaw, which employs 167 members of staff. The family-run business specialised in the manufacture and resale of soft furnishings, but in recent years it had suffered from harsh trading conditions which have impacted the UK retail scene as a whole.

RSM to oversee Ena Shaw winding down

Originally launched by machinist Ena Shaw in 1932 on Corporation Street, St Helens, the company most recently hit headlines after making curtains for accommodations at London 2012’s Olympic Village. Despite its long-stretching history, however, the firm’s directors and administrators were unable to find a buyer for the business as a going concern.

Having been installed as administrators in early February, Lindsey Cooper and Chris Ratten of RSM Restructuring Advisory will now oversee Ena Shaw’s winding down. The company has ceased to trade with immediate effect, and the majority of the firm’s employees have been made redundant. A small number of staff remain with the company on a short term basis, working to assist administrators.

Lindsey Cooper said of the news, "Ena Shaw has recently faced challenging trading conditions resulting from an unsettled retail market and increased competition from online and overseas manufacturers. It is always very sad when a long-standing family business with close community ties has to close. We will be working alongside staff from Job Centre Plus to assist employees with their claims to the redundancy payments service. creditors, customers and other interested parties will be contacted in due course."