Key client collapse puts upholstery group into administration

Long Eaton-based upholstered furniture group JDP Furniture Group has entered administration alongside its subsidiary companies.

Nathan Jones and John Lowe from specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed Joint Administrators to JDP Furniture Group Limited and its subsidiaries on 2 April 2020.

The group of companies manufactures and sells high-end chairs and sofas at its headquarters and premises in Nottingham. The group traded under a number of brand names, including Arlo & Jacob, Celebrity, Cintique, Ikon, JDP Frames, Wade Upholstery and Welbeck House.

The administration includes the JDP Furniture Group Limited and JDP Frames Limited, Celebrity Motion Furniture Limited, Welbeck House Limited, H & F Upholstery Limited. All manufacturing operations and trading ceased by 25 March at the Group which employs 466 staff.

Administrators confirmed that 210 employees were made redundant following the appointment, while the remaining employees have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or are now homeworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is understood that 80 people have been made redundant at Celebrity Motion Furniture Limited, 64 at Welbeck House Limited, 57 at JDP Frames Limited and nine at JDP Furniture Group Limited.

A solvent restructuring process was being executed by the management team in recent months to make fundamental changes to the group’s working practices and operations, including a diversification of its customer base away from large retail customers.

However, with substantial losses arising from the collapse of some major clients, including Laura Ashley, and considering the immediate and long-term challenges facing the retail sector, the business was not sustainable in its current form and led to the administration.

Nathan Jones, Joint Administrator at FRP, said: “The JDP Furniture Group comprises a network of brands and inter-connected companies that were highly dependent on one major retailer. Following the collapse of Laura Ashley, and without a sufficiently diverse customer base, the group was unstainable and not in a position to continue trading, even with the current COVID-19 Government support measures.

“We are working with staff and their representatives to minimise the impact of the Administrations where they qualify for any COVID-19 Government support measures and are working closely with the Redundancy Payments Service to support those that have unfortunately been made redundant.

“We are also currently investigating returning control of Celebrity Motion Limited (a newco created on 19 March 2020) back to its directors after restructuring the business in Administration. In relation to the remaining operational group companies we are seeking interested parties to come forward without delay.”

In the company’s latest available accounts ended 29 September 2019, JDP said that trading conditions had been “difficult” as sales fell 12.9% from £43.2m to £37.6m, with pre-tax losses amounting to £1.9m, which had in fact narrowed from a loss of £3.3m.

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